If you're eyeing up those second-generation AirPods Apple launched last month complete with wireless charging, you may want to hold off spending $199. That's because news is emerging of third-generation AirPods arriving before the end of the year.
As DigiTimes reports, industry sources are stating that a new set of AirPods are already in development and will incorporate a noise cancellation feature. Inventec is thought to be the company tasked with manufacturing the new wireless earbuds for Apple.
Launching another iteration of the AirPods so soon after the last may seem strange, but then Apple is only going to face more competition in this category and doesn't want to be outdone on features. Remember, Amazon is thought to be working on Alexa Earbuds and Microsoft is going to offer us Surface Buds. Headphone manufacturers are sure to respond to the threat of AirPods with their own takes this year, too.
9To5Mac reports that well-known TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is going a step further with his AirPods predictions. He believes there will actually be two new versions of the AirPods, which will arrive either in the fourth quarter of 2019 or first quarter of 2020.
One of those new models could be the version DigiTimes is talking about, but Kuo believes the other will use an "all-new form-factor." Unfortunately, there's no further detail on what that means or what additional functionality it would allow. However, both are expected to move to a system-in-package design which will save space, lower production costs, and increase yield rates for Apple.
It sounds as though Apple is starting to think about the AirPods a lot like iPhones. If that's the case then we should start expecting yearly refreshes and both a high-end and higher-end, more feature rich version each and every year.