If you’re an iPhone user, you’ve probably been tempted to pick up a pair of AirPods at some point over the last six years since the 1st generation earbuds arrived in December 2016.
However, with prices starting at £139 for the second-gen pair and ranging to an astonishing £549 for the over-ear AirPods Max, it’s easy to be swayed by some of the more affordable headphones on the market – especially, with so many great true wireless earbuds available right now.
However, that could all be about to change if this latest Apple rumour proves true.
According to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Haitong Intl Tech Research, Apple is currently developing a pair of “AirPods Lite” to better compete with cheaper wireless earbuds.
The analyst shared his predictions in a note seen by 9to5Mac this week.
Pu claims that, based on his industry sources, the demand for Apple AirPods could drop this year, with shipments of the wireless earbuds expected to fall from 73 million units in 2022 to just 63 million units in 2023.
The analyst explains that this will be due in part to “soft AirPods 3 demand” as well as the speculation that Apple may not decide to release a new AirPod in 2023.
The AirPods Lite will reportedly be a lower-priced product designed to compete with non-Apple earbuds, meaning they probably won’t be an upgrade for those already sporting a pair of Apple true wireless.
There’s been no word of what exactly the earbuds will look like or what features they’ll pack just yet, but we wouldn’t expect them to come with noise-cancelling as this is a feature reserved for the Pro and Max models in Apple’s line-up.
However, they will presumably cost less than £139, perhaps even undercutting the £100 mark, though this is all just speculation at this point.
We’ll have to wait and see whether more rumours of the budget-friendly AirPods Lite emerge.