Apple to launch third-generation AirPods in 2021 with AirPods Pro design, H1 chip, and ~$200 price tag.

TheElec said today that Apple will launch the third-generation of AirPods in the first half of 2021. These new AirPods will have the AirPods Pro design, H1 chip, and more.

According to the report, Apple will be omitting the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature from these AirPods. This is likely to keep the costs of these AirPods lower than the AirPods Pro. TheElec says that the main intention of these AirPods is to attract customers who prefer the design of the AirPods Pro, but don’t need or want the Active Noise Cancellation.

Additionally, TheElec says that these third-generation AirPods will use the H1 chip – the same chip currently used in the AirPods Pro and AirPods 2nd generation. However, they say that the chip design will be adjusted slightly. Instead of having a curved H1 chip like in the AirPods Pro, TheElec says that Apple will be changing the design to a regular square shape.

The internal design of the AirPods Pro, showing the curved H1 chip (the Apple-branded silver component)

As for pricing, TheElec says that Apple will be reducing the price by 20% compared to the AirPods Pro. Considering the AirPods Pro are retailing from Apple for $249.00 (US), this would mean that Apple are hoping to retail these third-generation AirPods with a price tag of ~$200.

The report also mentions that Apple initially intended to launch these AirPods after the announcement of the AirPods Pro in October 2019, but decided against it due to the success of the AirPods Pro. 

TheElec says that Apple’s Quality Assurance testing will begin “within the year” and the mass production of these AirPods will begin in 2021. 

AirPods Max, the newest entry into the AirPods lineup, is launching today and is available from Apple for $549.


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