Suppliers start shipping components for AirPods 3, expected this year

The new developments reported by DigiTimes seem to confirm without a doubt that we’ll be seeing the AirPods 3 (or rather, the successor to the 2nd gen AirPods, whatever you call them) later this year.

According to the paywall DigiTimes article, which was also covered by MacRumors, seven Apple suppliers have started PCB-related shipments en masse, and one of the devices that these shipments are destined for is the AirPods 3, in particular. Other next-generation products for which suppliers are currently producing include the Apple Watch 7 and iPhone 13, which all use SiP modules.

An earlier Bloomberg report already told us to expect the third generation of AirPods at the end of 2021, although Apple has only left us guessing in its Sprint Loaded and WWDC events this year. Now, it is essentially certain that the industrial sources of DigiTimes are reliable.

Thanks to previous specifications and AirPods 3 live photo leaks, we already have an idea of ​​what to expect from Apple’s latest true wireless earbuds. They will have an improved ergonomic design and even shorter stems than the newer AirPods Pro. We also expect to see the addition of pinch functionality on top of the existing take controls.

And while some early design renderings showed silicone tips present on the AirPods 3, the latest live photos from audio tech site 52Audio showed an in-ear design just like the first and second generation AirPods.

There won’t be active noise cancellation, just like 1st and 2nd generation AirPods, but that was to be expected – Apple is keeping this for AirPods Pro, it seems. (Apple is also working on integrating fitness tracking into next year’s AirPods Pro.)

The third-generation AirPods charging case retains its very compact form factor, but will be short and wide, more like that of the AirPods Pro.

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Richard V. Johnson

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