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All signs are pointing towards Apple releasing AirPods 3 sometime during the third quarter of the year, according to a new report from Digitimes. More than likely, Apple will unveil its next-gen AirPods at a special event in April before it hits stores sometime in late spring or early summer.
Apple last updated its entry-level AirPods line in March of 2019, so the timeline for a refresh certainly makes sense. As for what we can expect from the third iteration of Apple’s popular earbuds, reports indicate that AirPods 3 will borrow a few design elements from AirPods Pro insofar that it will boast a more compact design with a shorter stem.
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Additionally, AirPods 3 will reportedly include improved sound performance, improved water and sweat resistance, and a selection of three ear tips for improved comfort. AirPods 3 may also feature improved battery life and a brand new wireless chip. Active noise cancellation, however, will remain a feature exclusive to the AirPods Pro line.
Incidentally, rumor has it that Apple was initially going to release AirPods 3 in late 2020, only to push back the release date due to various delays that arose in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Late last month, purported pictures of AirPods 3 began circulating online. The pictures depict a design that closely resembles Apple’s AirPods Pro, all the way down to a more compact charging case.
Aside from AirPods 3, rumor has it that Apple will also introduce AirPods Pro 2 later this year. Apple’s next-gen AirPods Pro earbuds will reportedly feature a more compact form factor, with Bloomberg late last year suggesting that Apple might do away with the current stem design entirely.
For the new AirPods Pro, Apple is aiming to make the earbuds more compact by eliminating the short stem that currently sticks out from the bottom. A design in testing has a more rounded shape that fills more of a user’s ear — similar to the latest designs from Samsung, Amazon and Google.