Apple Plans Overhaul of AirPods Lineup for 2024, Says Report
The Cupertino-based company is also planning to update the design of the earbuds, their cases, and audio quality. A new version of the AirPods Max headphones is also slated for a 2024 release, said the sources, noting new colours will be available as well.
The AirPods were initially met with skepticism when they were launched in 2016, but they have since become one of Apple’s top-selling products. According to Canalys market share data for 2022, AirPods accounted for about 32% of wireless earbuds sales last year. They are a significant part of Apple’s Wearables, Home and Accessories segment, which generates approximately $40 billion annually.
Despite the success, the third-generation AirPods have not performed as well as expected. Consumers often opt for either the second-generation model or the high-end Pro model. In response, Apple plans to phase out both the second and third-generation AirPods next year, replacing them with two fourth-generation models that will be more distinct from each other, said the sources.
The new models will feature a design that blends elements from the third-generation AirPods and the Pro model. Noise cancellation will be included in the higher-end version, along with an updated charging case equipped with speakers for Find My alerts. Both new models will switch to USB-C for their charging cases, in line with the company’s broader shift away from Lightning ports.
People don’t upgrade their headphones or earphones that often, unless it’s due to battery life, or they lose an AirPod. Apple’s going to have to come up with some worthwhile changes to get consumers to open their wallets.