AirPods are one of Apple’s most warmly received new products in years.
The tiny wireless earbuds have become more consistently visible in urban areas like New York and San Francisco since they went on sale in December 2016.
“We’re thrilled to see so many customers enjoying AirPods,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in July. “It reminds me of the early days of iPod when I started noticing white earbuds everywhere I went.”
That also means it might soon be time for Apple to release a new version of AirPods – let’s call them AirPods 2. According to Bloomberg, we could see new wireless charging-enabled AirPods announced at Apple’s annual iPhone launch on Wednesday.
Here’s what to expect from the new AirPods, based on rumours:
Apple has already announced a new AirPods case that will be able to charge without being plugged in, using wireless charging.
Currently, the AirPods case needs to be plugged in to charge.
Apple has said that it will sell the charging case separately and that it will launch this year. The biggest physical difference is a tiny LED light.
But Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable analyst, has discussed “second-generation AirPods” with changed components.
This second-generation model, which could come out this year, may have the ability to summon the voice assistant Siri without pressing a button.
There’s also another rumour, via Japan, that you may be able to charge your phone from your AirPods case.
The new AirPods are also likely to have an upgraded chip for Bluetooth.
Apple is also working on a third-generation version of AirPods that could be water-resistant, according to Bloomberg. But the report says they may not come out until 2019.
Apple has already made its Apple Watch and iPhones water-resistant. But on a small device like AirPods, it may be a more difficult engineering challenge.
The 2019 AirPods could also include noise-cancellation features and have a higher price than the current $US159, according to a different Bloomberg report. Apple is also looking into adding a heart-rate monitor to future AirPods.
If wireless earbuds aren’t your thing, you may want to hold out for Apple’s rumoured “studio-quality” over-ear headphones, which may launch as soon as 2019. We’re also unlikely to see new Beats announced this week, too.
Apple makes noise-cancelling headphones under its Beats brand, but this pair could be engineered from the ground up by Apple.
We’ll see if Apple launches a new version of its AirPods at its annual September event, where it first announced AirPods in 2016.
Apple hasn’t yet announced the date.
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