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AirPods 3 may not start production until fall

5 min read
  • Ming-Chi Kuo reports that AirPods 3 will enter mass production in Q3 2021.
  • This follows recent claims that new AirPods are ‘ready to ship’ and multiple leaked images.
  • Kuo also predicts a drop in overall sales for AirPods this year.

According to a new report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (reliability: 80.95%), mass production of Apple’s AirPods 3 will start in the fall of 2021, later than expected. Kuo had previously predicted a launch in early 2021, however the venerated leaker now suggests manufacturing of the next-gen AirPods has been delayed until the fall, with production ramping up in the third and fourth quarter. Kuo has not provided any insight into why production may have been postponed, instead focusing on greater predicted trends for AirPods sales in the report. Kuo anticipates a drop in overall AirPods sales this year of roughly 25% compared to last year up until the launch of AirPods 3. Interestingly, Kuo is unsure whether or not AirPods 2 will be discontinued after the launch of AirPods 3.

We think it is still difficult to determine whether AirPods 2 will end production after AirPods 3 goes into mass production," he continues. "Apple's dilemma is that if AirPods 2 is sold at a lower price, it may affect AirPods 3 demand, but if there is no lower-priced AirPods model, it will not be conducive to AirPods shipment.

Previously, the first generation AirPods were discontinued after the release of AirPods 2, so if Apple were to continue to sell AirPods 2 after the launch of AirPods 3 it would be unusual to say the least, considering Apple would be selling three wireless earbuds. Regardless, the plethora of leaked images and substantiated reports of AirPods 3 including Kuo’s claims of shipping 23 million units in Q4 have given us a good scene of what to expect this fall. As time goes on, we can expect to get an even clearer picture of Apple’s vision for the future of the AirPods lineup.

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