Second-generation Apple AirPods Pro rumored to arrive by mid-2021
Rumors hinting at a mid-2021 launch of the second-generation Apple AirPods Pro are gathering steam. Independent reports from multiple sources suggest the rumors could be true. Reports point out that Taiwanese chipmaker Winbond is ramping up production to meet demand from Apple. Leaks also suggest the next-generation AirPods Pro could resemble the Pixel Buds or Amazon's Echo Buds doing away with the stem entirely.
Chipmaker Winbond accelerating production to meet demand from Apple
Winbond is expected to be one of Apple's NOR flash suppliers for the next-generation AirPods Pro. The chipmaker will be running its NOR flash production lines at nearly full-capacity over the next six months. The overall smaller size of the upcoming product could be a welcome change, as many users have wished for the AirPods Pro case to resemble that of the vanilla AirPods.
Reworked charging case in the offing; could be Magsafe compatible
Mac Otakara reports from early January indicated second-gen AirPods Pro could be released in April 2021. The redesign would involve a new charging case that remains 21mm thick but would be 1mm taller and 6mm narrower. It is also possible Apple is reworking the case to support Magsafe. Currently, AirPods Pro can be charged on a Magsafe puck, but don't magnetically attach to it.
Stem deletion on redesigned buds could axe 'Pro' features
Some reports speculate Apple removing the stem on second-gen AirPods Pro could be the end of Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) it offered. Other reports based on leaked components suggest the next generation could come in two sizes. At least one report also hints at a 20% price cut. Either way, these leaks imply the next generation would be more "Lite" than AirPods "Pro".
Apple AirPods Pro second-gen could come in two sizes
New AirPods Pro Mabey Two Sizes Still W2 Chips 🤨 pic.twitter.com/R5MpzUrUlg— Mr·White (@laobaiTD) December 29, 2020
AirPods Pro design revamp due, but rumors aren't always true
The current-gen AirPods Pro was introduced in November 2019 featuring silicone ear tips and shorter stems than regular AirPods. The additional features of the Pro version include ANC, improved sound quality, and sweat as well as water resistance. Previous rumors also suggested that regular AirPods could get a design upgrade this year, making them resemble the Pro variant but without the additional feature set.