Taiwanese provider ASE Technology has begun production of optical sensors for next-generation AirPods scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2021, as per industry sources refered to in a paywalled DigiTimes story preview today.
The full report still can’t seem to be published, so there could be no further subtleties right now, yet the time period lines up with data shared by Apple expert Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently asserted that third-generation AirPods will enter mass production in the second from last quarter of the year. The quarter runs from July through September.
Kuo recently said the third-generation AirPods would be released in the first half of 2021, and a series of leaked photographs and renders certainly caused it to appear as though a launch was fast approaching, however this no longer appears to be the case.
The third-generation AirPods are required to have a comparative design as the AirPods Pro, including more limited stems, however without silicone ear tips or active noise cancellation, considering a lower cost. The second-generation AirPods retail for $159 with a wired charging case or for $199 with a wireless charging case, while the AirPods Pro run $249.
Apple released the second-generation AirPods in March 2019, followed by the AirPods Pro in October 2019.
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