Apple’s New ‘AirPods 3’ Might Still Be Just Around the Corner

AirPods 3 Concept Credit: apple_lab / Twitter
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This year’s California streaming Apple event was full of surprises, not only in terms of what we saw the company debut, but also what we didn’t see.

We already know that the rumour mill got quite a few things wrong this year, particularly in regard to the Apple Watch Series 7 and the “major redesign” that didn’t arrive, but the rumours were also a bit off the mark in terms of what products Apple would be showing off.

For instance, several sources suggested we wouldn’t be seeing new iPads announced until at least October, and yet Apple showed off both a cool new sixth-generation iPad mini and an A13-powered standard iPad during this week’s event.

Similarly, multiple reports said that Apple would show off its latest third-generation AirPods during the event, but of course, they were nowhere to be seen. In fact, we can’t recall AirPods even being mentioned in passing during the event.

To be fair, Apple hasn’t exactly been consistent when it comes to its iPad announcements over the past few years. The 2018 iPad Pro came alongside a new MacBook Air and Mac mini in October of that year, but it’s also fair to say that was a much bigger deal. On the other hand, Apple announced its latest entry-level iPad alongside the iPhone 11 at its September event in 2019.

In fact, it’s probably now reasonable to assume that had the iPhone 12 not been delayed, last year’s Time Flies event would have looked much more like this year’s, with the Apple Watch Series 6, iPad Air 4, and eighth-generation iPad sharing the stage with the new iPhones and the HomePod mini.

Apple’s AirPods, however, are a very different story, and we wouldn’t assume that the lack of an appearance at this week’s event has any reflection at all on when Apple’s latest earbuds will make an appearance.

New AirPods Are Still Coming

There are many indications that the new AirPods already went into production several weeks ago, and it’s probably fair to say that most sources likely just assumed that since the AirPods were almost ready to ship, that Apple would naturally want to talk about them on stage.

Based on how Apple has treated its headphone announcements in the past, however, it would have been more surprising if it had done so. After all, the only AirPods that have ever been announced at an Apple event were the original ones back in 2016, when they were debuted as an entirely new product category.

Since then, Apple has debuted every one of its new headphones much more quietly via Newsroom announcements. This applied not only to the second-generation AirPods in early 2019, but also the much more revolutionary AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

None of these much more interesting products were deemed worthy of being announced on stage by Apple. Since we’re not exactly expecting anything groundbreaking in the so-called “AirPods 3,” it would have actually been unprecedented for Apple to spend any time talking about a modestly updated accessory during an event that was packed with much more significant product announcements.

When Are AirPods 3 Coming?

They’re still coming soon, as Taiwanese site DigiTimes notes that production is fully underway, and in fact, suppliers have already started shipments.

According to DigiTimes, the shipments have been “slow” so far, but at least they’re rolling off the assembly line. If true, this means that Apple is likely just waiting to accumulate enough stock to actually make them available to customers.

While there’s still a Mac event expected to come later this year, it’s likely that Apple won’t waste any time with the AirPods at that event either. Instead, they’ll likely just be announced via Apple’s Newsroom once they’re ready to go on sale, and that could happen at any time. In fact, some rumours suggest they could arrive by the end of September, or early October, but either way, it’s unlikely we’ll have to wait for another Apple event before we see them.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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