Kuo expects ‘AirPods Pro Lite’ to be Beats, AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 as soon as next year [U]


Update: Kuo has issued an update to his report, saying that AirPods 3 will go into mass production during the first half of 2021, not the first half of 2020. We’ve updated our piece below as well.

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has published a new investor note today focused on Apple’s growing AirPods business. According to the analyst, Apple’s over-ear headphones will enter mass production sometime this summer. There are also new AirPods and AirPods Pro on the way.

Apple’s over-ear headphones are expected to be available later this year with a unique magnetic design. Kuo says that the high-end headphones will enter mass production in mid-2020, which suggests a release in late summer or early fall.

This follows a report from Bloomberg last week, which said that Apple’s over-ear headphones will feature swappable magnetic parts. Apple is said to have developed at least two variations of the headphones, one using leather fabrics and another with lighter materials more suited to fitness use cases.

Meanwhile, Kuo also expects third-generation AirPods to enter mass production during the first half of 2021. These AirPods are expected to switch to a production process that’s similar to the existing AirPods Pro, but other details are unknown at this point. It is expected that the external design will stay roughly the same, though.

Apple released AirPods 2 just over a year ago, bringing the new H1 chip, wireless charging case, and hands-free Siri. AirPods Pro were then released in October with a new in-ear design and noise cancellation.

Kuo adds that second-generation AirPods Pro will enter mass production late in 2021 or early 2022. Again, details here are unknown, but it is notable that we’re more than a year away from new AirPods Pro at this point.

Kuo also casts doubt on expectations for a “new AirPods model” coming in the second half of 2020. Sources such as Digitimes have said that “AirPods Pro Lite” earbuds are coming this year, but Kuo says these are “more likely to be” a new Beats model than AirPods.

What do you think of this report? Do you have any hopes for third-generation AirPods? Let us know down in the comments.

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