Apple preparing for a major AirPods overhaul, says Mark Gurman

Apple could revamp its AirPods lineup by introducing two variants of the entry-level AirPods, alongside the AirPods Max 2nd Generation.

| Updated on: Oct 30 2023, 09:24 IST
Apple's 'Scary Fast' October 30 Event: What to expect
Apple AirPods
1/7 Apple Inc. is set to kick off its final product unveiling of the year, and it's taking place on Halloween eve, October 30, at 5 p.m. California time (5:30 a.m IST). This event, known as "Scary Fast," is a deviation from the usual in-person gatherings at Cupertino. Instead, it will be an online-only affair, raising anticipation for what Apple has in store. (@Apple)
Apple AirPods
2/7 What to Expect at the Event: Apple has remained tight-lipped about the specifics of the event, but reports from Bloomberg suggest we can anticipate fresh MacBook Pro laptops and iMac desktops. While the design might not see radical changes, the highlight is the introduction of Apple's first M3 3-nanometer processors, a significant upgrade from the previous M2 chips. (Unsplash)
Apple AirPods
3/7 The introduction of these new models comes at a crucial juncture for Apple. With the personal computing market rebounding after the pandemic, Apple faces competition from companies like Nvidia and Qualcomm, who are venturing into the PC market. Apple hopes these new products will drive a resurgence in sales, as it has experienced a few quarters of declining revenue. (Unsplash)
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4/7 Although the Mac is no longer at the core of Apple's business, it remains a key revenue generator, contributing about 10 percent of annual sales. Wall Street estimates predict Mac sales to reach just under $8.1 billion in the holiday quarter, an improvement from the previous year, but not as robust as the pre-pandemic period. (AFP)
Apple AirPods
5/7 MacBook Pro Upgrades: The MacBook Pro lineup will see updates with high-end models codenamed J514 and J516. These machines will retain a similar look to their predecessors but are expected to feature faster M3 Pro and M3 Max processors. These processors come in various configurations with more CPU and graphics cores, promising improved performance and gaming capabilities. (Unsplash)
Apple AirPods
6/7 The Revamped iMac: The iMac lineup is also getting a refresh for the first time in over 900 days. Similar to the MacBook Pros, the design will remain largely unchanged, but internal enhancements and a redesigned stand are expected. These new iMacs, codenamed J433 and J434, will feature the M3 chip and offer different graphics configurations. (Apple)
Apple AirPods
7/7 While the event will showcase MacBook Pros and iMacs, a low-end MacBook Pro with the M3 chip won't be unveiled yet. Also, new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs with M3 chips, codenamed J613 and J615, are in development and scheduled for release in the first half of 2024. As for updated iPads, Apple plans to debut them in the spring. Meanwhile, AirPods will receive updates in the coming years, with new models and headphones on the horizon. (AFP)
Apple AirPods
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Apple could introduce new AirPods in 2 variants. Know details. (Representative Image) (Unsplash)

Apple's AirPods are one of the most popular earbuds on the planet, with a design that can be recognized at first glance. However, the Cupertino-based tech giant also faces stiff competition in this segment from the likes of Samsung, Jabra, Bose, Sennheiser, and more. As a result, the need for constant innovation arises. Apple recently unveiled its AirPods Pro 2nd Gen with USB Type-C but it did not feature any major hardware changes. However, the company could be preparing for a major overhaul to its AirPods lineup, with several refreshed offerings planned in the next couple of years.

In his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman revealed that Apple could revamp its AirPods lineup by introducing two variants of the entry-level AirPods, alongside the AirPods Max 2nd Generation.

Two variants of AirPods

The first of the products would be entry-level AirPods introduced in late 2024. It would feature a new design, and improved audio and would offer a better fit. These new AirPods would also get the USB Type-C upgrade, with Apple planning to phase out its proprietary lightning port. The AirPods case could also be updated.

This time around, the base AirPods would get another and more upscale variant. It will reportedly feature Active Noise Cancellation, a feature that has eluded the standard AirPods so far, with only the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max getting it. Apple will reportedly phase out the second and third generation of AirPods and will introduce two variants of base AirPods, priced differently.

According to Gurman, the higher variant of the standard AirPods could also get a case with speakers. This would allow it to play Find My Alerts, similar to the AirPods Pro 2nd Generation, “making it easier for users to find their case when it gets lost”.

AirPods Max

The next product to receive a revamp is expected to be the AirPods Max, Apple's first on-ear headphones. Since launching in 2020, the AirPods Max has remained unchanged, but it could be due for an upgrade. Although no groundbreaking hardware changes have been tipped, the new AirPods Max could feature a USB Type-C port, as well as new colours. It will reportedly be launched in late 2024.

As per Gurman, the next generation of AirPods Pro is also in the pipeline and could feature a new design and updated chip. However, they aren't due to launch until 2025.

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First Published Date: 30 Oct, 09:19 IST