Rumours are swirling round suggesting Apple is engaged on a pair of low cost $99 AirPods which the web has unceremoniously dubbed ‘AirPods Lite’.
The information comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who, for what it’s price, is often fairly correct along with his Apple-related predictions. In current months, the analyst has accurately predicted the inclusion of 5G on the brand new iPhone SE, the introduction of a brand new 48Mp sensor on the iPhone 14 vary and that Apple would proceed to promote the second-gen AirPods following the discharge of the third-gen buds.
Admittedly Kuo doesn’t have an ideal observe file with 72.5% accuracy on AppleTrack, however whereas it’s nonetheless price taking his claims with a pinch of salt, he often gives a good suggestion of what Apple has deliberate.
Nevertheless, it appears that evidently a number of on-line publications have gotten the improper finish of the stick in the case of Kuo’s claims of budget-friendly AirPods, and I don’t assume new low cost AirPods are on the playing cards anytime quickly. Let me clarify.
Second-gen AirPods solely price $129/£139
The most important argument in opposition to new $99 AirPods is that Apple at present sells the second-gen AirPods at a reduced $129/£139 in comparison with the newer, dearer third-gen AirPods that begin at $169/£179.
It’s a wise transfer for Apple, permitting the corporate to draw present AirPods house owners with an improve whereas nonetheless providing a tempting inexpensive choice within the type of the second-gen buds.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
The one factor I merely can’t perceive is why Apple would undergo all the trouble of retooling and implementing a brand new manufacturing course of for a brand new low cost pair of AirPods when it already has a confirmed system for producing the second-gen AirPods, which have continued to be manufactured for the reason that launch of the newer in-ear buds and solely price $30 greater than the rumoured new mannequin.
Whereas it would look like a reasonably easy course of to the typical client, taking a brand new product to mass manufacturing takes numerous time and, importantly, cash.
Would Apple actually undergo all this for a pair of sub-$100 earbuds when it’s clear that Apple isn’t a budget-friendly firm, or would it not as a substitute drop the value of the second-gen buds to make them extra engaging? I’m leaning in direction of the latter.
AirPods Lite branding is simply improper
The second challenge I’ve is with the AirPods Lite branding that has been thrown round. It’s not the primary time we’ve seen a rumoured ‘lite’ mannequin of AirPods both – there have been rumours swirling about AirPods Professional Lite a few years in the past that, as I predicted on the time, turned out to be the redesigned third-gen AirPods.
Actually, in the complete historical past of Apple, there has by no means been a product with the Lite moniker. As a substitute, it’s a distinctly Android branding used to spotlight cheaper variants of smartphones and different tech, together with the Xiaomi 12 Lite and Oppo Discover X5 Lite.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Simply because the web acquired the AirPods Professional Lite branding (that turned out to be the new-design AirPods 3), I’m nearly sure that it’s the case with the rumoured low cost AirPods.
Even when Apple does launch a completely new line-up of AirPods at an inexpensive value level, I can nearly assure that they gained’t boast the Lite moniker. In the event that they do, I’ll truly shave my head.
Kuo doesn’t say ‘new’ AirPods are coming
What’s most essential – and most evident in case you truly learn Kuo’s tweets on the topic – is that he doesn’t explicitly state that new low cost AirPods are within the works, however relatively that he expects “extra inexpensive AirPods” to coincide with the launch of next-gen AirPods and new AirPods Max.
You would possibly assume that is simply poor wording, nevertheless it’s price stating that he does explicitly say that new AirPods Max are additionally on the best way in the identical tweet. If each are completely new, why not simply say so?
The shortage of specific affirmation of latest low cost AirPods appears to counsel that Apple will as a substitute use an present design or, extra possible, an present product, and at solely $30 extra, the second-gen AirPods appear the right candidates.
When are the cheaper AirPods anticipated?
No matter whether or not Apple merely drops the value of the second-gen AirPods or it goes down the route of saying a completely new line of low cost AirPods, Kuo claims that the corporate is planning to announce the cheaper AirPods alongside the discharge of latest next-gen buds someday within the second half of 2024 or first half of 2025, so we’ve nonetheless acquired fairly some time to attend.
Are you enthusiastic about the potential for Apple producing new budget-friendly AirPods or, like me, do you imagine that the funds AirPods will merely be second-gen AirPods with a reduction? Tell us on Twitter.