A DigiTimes report on Wednesday claims Apple will launch their third-generation AirPods – which will include a noise-cancellation feature – by the end of the year. That claim flies in the face of other rumors that say the release of the AirPods 3 wireless earbuds have been pushed back to 2020.
The report claims the new wireless earphones will feature a noise cancellation feature. Taiwan’s Inventec allegedly will be the major assembler of AirPods 3, while China’s Luxshare Precision will also handle part of the orders for the new device, according to industry sources.
The report says noise cancellation could create new design and assembly challenges for Apple and its partners:
The sources said that noise cancellation is not a new technology, but a technology hard to harness. On the one hand, semiconductor devices can hardly work without suffering electromagnetic disturbance, and on the other hand how the structural design of the noise forward feedback microphone can be done well to achieve harmonious operation with other devices is a great challenge for designers and assemblers.
In addition, earphones with noise-cancellation function will consume more power than those without, and it remains to be seen how Apple will do to reduce power consumption, the sources indicated.
While Taiwan’s Inventec is said to have the edge on grabbing the lion’s share of assembly orders for the AirPods 3 earbuds over China’s Luxshare Precision – thanks to Inventec’s extensive assembly experience – both companies are currently assembling an equal share of AirPods 2 orders.
DigiTime’s claim of AirPods 3 hitting shelves before the end of 2019 doesn’t agree with claims by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who said the one-year delay for the second-generation AirPods had also pushed back the AirPods 3 release date. Gurman also said the third-generation AirPods could include noise-cancellation features, as well as a new design and that the new earbuds will resist “splashes of water and rain.”