Apple is readying $99 AirPods which may debut in 2024
Apple is working on two new AirPods, namely the next-gen AirPods Max and affordable AirPods SE, according to renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. While the second-generation AirPods Max will replace the existing flagship over-the-ear headphones, the SE variant will debut as the company's cheapest wireless earbuds at around $99. Both models will likely ship in the second-half of 2024 or the first-half of 2025.
Why does this story matter?
- Apple has long operated in the premium market. Now the tech giant might be wanting to test the waters in the more affordable TWS earbuds segment.
- Practically, every other manufacturer is actively present in the sub-Rs. 10,000 audio wearable segment.
- Hence, Apple's shift in focus toward the overcrowded budget-friendly TWS earbuds market can spoil the party for other manufacturers.
AirPods Max and SE may arrive next year
Apple's AirPods TWS earbuds line-up is anticipated to be refreshed only next year. Kuo asserts that the mass production of the next-generation AirPods Max, along with the more affordable AirPods, rumored to be called AirPods SE, will begin in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025. At present, Apple is primarily focusing on its upcoming mixed-reality headset.
Kuo's report corroborates Jeff Pu's claims
Just a few days ago, notable tech analyst Jeff Pu reported that Apple may expand its presence in the TWS space, and introduce 'AirPods Lite,' entry-level TWS earbuds in the AirPods line-up. Now, the latest report from Kuo seems to be consistent with Pu's claims. Kuo also claims that the upcoming low-cost AirPods will be priced at around $99 (roughly Rs. 8,000).
AirPods Max will be refreshed after three years
Apple had released the AirPods Max back in 2020 for an eye-watering price tag of $549. The next-generation AirPods Max may retain a similar design as the current model. However, it should come with enhanced ANC and more personalized Spatial Audio support.
AirPods SE may lack certain audio features
The affordable AirPods may be inspired by the 2nd-generation AirPods in terms of design. However, being less expensive, the upcoming AirPods may lack support for premium features such as Spatial Audio and Active Noise Cancellation. Additionally, it may also offer a lower battery backup than higher-end models.