Despite a flurry of leaks surrounding next-gen AirPods in the last couple of weeks, Ming-Chi Kuo this morning said that new AirPods will not enter mass production until the third quarter of 2021, which means they won’t be launching imminently.
Many leakers have suggested that Apple will hold a product event on March 23rd. However, the date is not yet confirmed by Apple and it remains unclear what product would feature. Today’s Kuo report indicates AirPods 3 are simply not ready yet.
The majority of Kuo’s report centers on AirPods shipment predictions. Kuo predicts that Apple will see a decline in Apple headphone shipments this year, as Apple faces increasing competition from rival manufacturers.
Kuo says Apple shipped around 90 million AirPods in 2020 and expects that to fall to about 78 million for 2021.
The analyst says Apple may keep second-generation AirPods on the market when AirPods 3 are released. However, he is not sure on this matter yet.
The latest addition to the AirPods family, the $549 over-ear AirPods Max headphones, are said to have limited impact on shipments. Kuo expects Apple will sell just 1 million units across the entire year.