Apple’s AirPods 3 are expected to be announced around the end of 2019, and a new supply-chain report jibes with an earlier one that said the new AirPods will carry a higher price than the current model.
Last month, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted one of two new wireless earbud models would be priced higher and would sport an all-new form factor.
Kuo implied that Apple will continue to offer the same $159 (Lightning) and $199 (wireless) price points for an updated version of the existing AirPods model, while also offering a higher-spec option at a correspondingly higher price. A DigiTimes report indicated that noise-cancellation would be the main feature difference between the two price levels.
A DigiTimes report on Wednesday says one Apple supplier is increasing its shipments of a component that is used in the current AirPods 2 lineup, but isn’t expected to be used in the AirPods 3 model.
Unitech Printed Circuit Board has been ramping up rigid-flex PCB shipments for Apple’s AirPods 2, the order visibility for which has extended through early 2020 at least, according to industry sources.
This is despite market speculation that AirPods 3 – reportedly to hit the market by the end of 2019 – may feature a brand-new internal design adopting SiP (system in package) technology instead of rigid-flex board combination, the sources said.
That move would only make sense if Apple expects to continue to sell the AirPods 2 alongside the AirPods 3. None of this will be confirmed until Apple makes an official announcement, so the usual “take it with a grain of your favorite salt-free seasoning” advice applies.