Third-gen AirPods could adopt new internal design, sell alongside second-gen model

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is reportedly poised to keep selling second-generation AirPods well into 2020, possibly alongside radically redesigned third-gen earbuds.

AirPods 2


A printed circuit board supplier for second-gen AirPods, Unitech, is increasing its rigid-flex PCB shipments for the product with order visibility through early 2020, according to DigiTimes supply chain sources. Apple only released the buds in late March.

Current market speculation is that third-gen units will switch to a system-in-package (SiP) design, DigiTimes said. That might improve space efficiency by combing multiple components onto the same substrate -- in theory Apple could even go a step further with a system-on-chip like the Apple Watch, but there have been no rumors to that effect.

Just recently analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that two sets of AirPods will ship in late 2019 or early 2020 -- one identical to the second-gen hardware, but another with a new form factor and higher price. Kuo pointed to it using SiP to improve not just space, but parts costs and yield rates. Unitech could lose money if Apple makes the shift, but if second-gen AirPods do remain on sale, there may be plenty of orders yet.

It's rumored that the higher-cost AirPods could include noise cancellation, in which case room might be used to offset power consumption with increased battery capacity. Ambient noise has been a common complaint about existing models, since they're not designed to isolate the ear canal.

Still other rumors have hinted at new health-related features, though whether or not they'll make it into third-gen AirPods is in question.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 278member
    "Ambient noise has been a common complaint about existing models," - who could *complain* about something that is obviously not designed into a product?  It's like saying "lack of electric propulsion is a common complaint about existing ICE models."
    jbdragonStrangeDaysracerhomie3cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 6
    AdambombAdambomb Posts: 12unconfirmed, member
    I hope they let us mute a phone call from the ear buds THIS time, come on Apple
    edited May 8
  • Reply 3 of 6
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,372member
    tjwolf said:
    "Ambient noise has been a common complaint about existing models," - who could *complain* about something that is obviously not designed into a product?  It's like saying "lack of electric propulsion is a common complaint about existing ICE models."
    You didn’t k is people complain about that one as well? ;) The-People-Entitled-To-Everything and their smaller subgroup The-People-Entitled-To-Everything-For-Free never sleep. 

    Ambient noise cancellation/filtering would be nice, though and likely an immediate buy from my end. 
  • Reply 4 of 6
    GabyGaby Posts: 60member
    @AppleInsider I think you’re confused guys... the Apple Watch runs on a SiP, so either you’re mistaken in your initial paragraph and mean to say a SoC or the bit about “could go a step further” makes no sense at all.. ✌🏽
  • Reply 5 of 6
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,269member
    All I want is non-disposable AirPods, i.e. that last longer than 18 months before batteries down to 50 minutes per charge. 
    Gaby
  • Reply 6 of 6
    GabyGaby Posts: 60member
    All I want is non-disposable AirPods, i.e. that last longer than 18 months before batteries down to 50 minutes per charge. 
    @"robin huber" 
    Batteries are consumables and results vary based on the way you use them. I had mine since day 1 and that set easily holds 75-80% of  the original max charge that is to say at 70% volume I can get perhaps 3 to 3 and a half hours.
    There is good practice with regard to managing LiPo cells and The best way to maximise life is to regularly top them up after an hour or two. Pop them back in the case for 10 mins. This way you are lowering the cycle count. If you try to recharge before 55-60% from full then you effectively get almost two charges from a single recharge cycle. Obviously this isn’t something you’re going to do every single time in real life setting, but if you adopt this habit and can try to do it even half the time you will significantly extend the working life before needing a battery service. Also if you completely discharge them from-full,  a couple of times per month, this also helps to maintain the cells. And again - this is good practice for all rechargeable lithium cells from your iPhone to MacBook. I have a pro that is 6 years old that I regularly get around 5 hours mixed use from. Hope this helps. 
    edited May 12
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