APPLE

Mass production of the two new AirPods models will begin in May, with release scheduled for the fall.

Via Mark Gurman in the latest issue of the Power On newsletter, Apple suppliers are preparing to begin mass production of the new AirPods starting in May. AirPods 3 will be replaced by a new line of two models.

The new AirPods models represent a new two-tier line for non-professional headphones. They both get an updated design, improved fit, and USB-C charging. Higher-end models will also feature active noise cancellation and case locator, similar to the AirPods Pro.

Gurman says the two models are codenamed B768E and B768M. They are intended to replace the current product line, in which Apple sells both the second-generation AirPods for $129 and the third generation for $179.

After weaker-than-expected sales of the AirPods 3, Apple expects these new versions will be a hit. Gurman writes that Apple will release 20-25 million units of the new models, which will be the largest launch of new AirPods ever. You can probably expect them to arrive in the fall with the debut of the iPhone 16.

The next hardware generation of AirPods Pro isn't expected until 2025, although some new software features are in the works, like a hearing aid mode.

Later this year, AirPods Max will get a USB-C charging port—and seemingly no other new features.

We expect Apple to announce a new iPad Pro model in the near future and iPad Air coming soon. Then in June, attention turns to WWDC, where Apple will announce the next major versions of its operating systems, including iOS 18 for iPhone with new artificial intelligence features.

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