The long-awaited successor to Apple’s popular AirPods earbuds have been rumored and leaked in many forms at this point, but customers are still waiting for them to actually be released. A supply chain report from Digitimes indicates that production is ramping and the new earbuds should arrive alongside the iPhone 13 launch in the fall.
Although last year the iPhone 12 series wasn’t unveiled until October due to pandemic delays, the general expectation is that this year Apple will return to its usual September schedule for the iPhone 13 announcement.
Digitimes says that flexible circuit board shipments have kicked off for the next-generation AirPods models, with sources saying that the new AirPods have a ‘good chance’ of debuting at Apple’s September event, alongside the new iPhones.
AirPods 3 will share design cues with their AirPods Pro siblings, featuring shorter stems. They are expected to include support for Apple’s head-tracking Spatial Audio feature, available when watching TV shows and movies and (upon the arrival of iOS 15) Dolby Atmos music too. Pricing is expected to be about the same as current AirPods, in the $150 range.
The iPhone 13 lineup will come in the same four screen sizes as iPhone 12 with similar chassis designs. However, the size of the Face ID notch will be reduced and the rear camera module will be enlarged to support new higher-quality lenses. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are believed to feature 120-hz high-refresh rate displays for the first time, and possibly an always-on Lock Screen feature.
As previously reported by Bloomberg, an update to the AirPods Pro line is not expected until next year.