Apple AirPods are among the most popular earbuds around, but when will the next version- AirPods 3 – release?
The AirPods 3 are likely to be a must-have accessory for any of the best phones in 2021. Given Apple shipped almost 60 million AirPods in 2019 according to estimates, it's unlikely the AirPods will go away soon.
Here’s what to expect with the AirPods 3.
AirPods 3 Release Date
Apple has yet to confirm the release date of its AirPods 3 – or even their existence. However, one recent report does point towards a September 2021 release, likely competing with both the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and OnePlus Buds Pro.
The latest claim comes from IT Home (via AppleInsider), which states the AirPods 3 will launch on September 30. This after the iPhone 13 release date, which could happen on September 17. If true, the AirPods 3 announcement could also happen any time from September 7, based on past Apple events.
This September period matches up with several rumours from other outlets.
According to DigiTimes, manufacturers for Apple are currently producing AirPods 3 alongside other upcoming Apple devices.
The site also has said that shipments for various parts used in the new AirPods "have kicked off in small volumes", with upscaling set for Q3 and Q4.
As for production, Nikkei Asia stated that Apple's mass production of AirPods 3 moved to China rather than Vietnam, due to COVID-19 disrupting the supply chain.
Adding to the list of reputable sources touting a September release, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has now claimed in his latest Power On newsletter that the AirPods will release alongside the new iPhone.
"Look for Apple to debut its new low-end AirPods this fall, around the same time as the next iPhones," Gurman said.
However, as with rumours about the iOS 15 release date, these reports must be treated lightly. Kuo previously claimed the AirPods 3 may release in the earlier stages of the year, only for this to not happen.
This is not the only rumour to have fallen flat. Previous rumours suggested the AirPods 3 may launch at either the Apple Spring Loaded or WWDC 2021 events, only for neither to feature the buds.
AirPods Pro 2 Release Date
Believe it or not, the AirPods 3 are not the only Apple earbuds allegedly in production.
Rumours also suggest Apple is to release the AirPods Pro 2. These will be a new version of its original AirPods Pro (rather than a Pro version of the AirPods 2).
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the AirPods 2 will prioritise fitness tracking and feature enhanced motion sensors. However, they will not release until early 2022, several months after the AirPods 3 launch.
AirPods 3 Latest News and Leaks
The latest news on the AirPods 3 comes courtesy of Twitter user @dylandkt. He claimed the upcoming AirPods will include different tip sizes and introduce a new charging case to become the standard for the whole range.
Indeed, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman also stated the AirPods 3 were in for a design upgrade. In his Power On newsletter, Gurman said the AirPods 3 will include the biggest change yet to the AirPods aesthetic.
However, unconfirmed images of the AirPods shared online suggest this may not be the case. Here, the AirPods 3 continue the standard aesthetic of their predecessors.
As we noted above, the AirPods 3 have been subject to a lot of rumours that haven't come off - such as a Q2 release alongside the Apple Music HiFi upgrade. This makes it harder to verify whether these leaks are rumours are accurate or not.
Apple will hope to regain some of its lost market share in the wireless earbuds category. According to Counterpoint Research, its market share fell from 41% to 29% in 2020.
However, a recent survey from SellCell found that out of 3000 iPhone users, just 12.9% are interested in the AirPods 3. This is some 15% less than those interested in the Apple Watch Series 7.
Read More: Best Earbuds 2021