'AirPods Pro 2' to debut in 2022, Kuo says

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited June 30
Apple is expected to launch a successor to its popular AirPods Pro headphone sometime in 2022, according to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

AirPods Pro


In a note to investors on Wednesday, Kuo predicts a 2022 launch for a so-called "AirPods Pro 2" device, in line with recent rumblings.

"Even without the innovative experience of AirPods Pro 2 in 2022, Apple's total TWS device shipment will be back to more than 100 million in 2022," Kuo writes.

The analyst is revising down his AirPods shipment forecast to 70 million to 75 million units due to lower than expected demand for the product seen in the second quarter of 2021. Apple continues to dominate the wireless headphone space, but competitors are chipping away at that lead.

Looking ahead, Kuo believes the AirPods platform holds a competitive advantage in its ability to grow through ecosystem enhancements like Siri or through new "innovative AirPods experience[s]" such as health monitoring. Apple is rumored to be integrating more advanced motion sensors in its top-of-the-line audio wearable, and the company could one day go further with biometric technology.

Kuo goes on to say that Apple's dual-brand strategy will be increasingly important as it looks to capture the eye of Android users.

"AirPods are higher priced, target Apple device users, and aim to provide innovation and eco-experience to increase added value," Kuo says. "Beats are lower-priced, target Apple and non-Apple device users, and increase shipments or market share."

The latest Beats device, the recently released Beats Studio Buds, uses a 22nm MediaTek chip instead of Apple's own H1 silicon. This provides a few benefits including shorter development timelines, lower costs, and differentiation from AirPods, Kuo contends.

If Beats Studio Buds perform well, Apple could lean more heavily on MediaTek solutions over its own chips for future Beats products, Kuo says.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    I’m just waiting for AirPods Max 2.

    I love AirPods Pro but the ear tips caused a massive allergic reaction and I can’t use them any more. I changed tips to foam and it didn’t get better. The damage was done and seems permanent.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    I just got the beats buds for my girlfriend and they’re pretty great so far. Fantastic design. The transparency mode isn’t as good as my ipods pro though, even to my non-discerning ears, but definitely not a deal breaker. 
    Japhey
  • Reply 3 of 11
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,191member
    It's always a curious thing, the oft-used superlatives when citing Ming-Chi Kuo. Interestingly, a search of this site for the phrase "well-connected analyst" would seem to suggest that Kuo is almost the only analyst to ever receive such honors. He's also the only one who gets cited as "reliable analyst." I'm still curious if these honorifics are measured and earned or perhaps just contractual.
    edited June 30
  • Reply 4 of 11
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    AppleZulu said:
    It's always a curios thing, the oft-used superlatives when citing Ming-Chi Kuo. Interestingly, a search of this site for the phrase "well-connected analyst" would seem to suggest that Kuo is almost the only analyst to ever receive such honors. He's also the only one who gets cited as "reliable analyst." I'm still curious if these honorifics are measured and earned or perhaps just contractual.
    I think the explanation is that a few years ago he legally changed his name to "well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo".
    AppleZulupatchythepiratedewmejcs2305TRAG
  • Reply 5 of 11
    AppleishAppleish Posts: 369member
    I could have predicted this based on the fact that AppleCare on my AirPods Pro runs out at the end of the year.

    FYI: I have had five individual AirPods and one case replaced under AppleCare.

    These things work great, when they are not broken.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 207member
    You heard it here first... AirPods Pro 3 in 2024/2025.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,815member
    Personally, this is good news since I just bought a set of AirPod Pros. Because Apple is so far ahead of the competition on certain products, plus Apple's high level of brand loyalty, they are the only ones who can make your current pride & joy Apple purchase feel like leftover pizza from the fridge just as soon as they release a somewhat better version of what you already own.

    It's not planned obsolescence because the Apple product you purchased in the past couple of years generally works every bit as well as it did when you bought it, with a few exceptions, but the n-1, n-2, n-3, etc., versions always lose their shine compared to the newest 'n' version.

    Welcome to the world of being a loyal Apple customer/consumer. They'll never change their behavior, it's all up to you to change yours, or learn to live with it.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,815member
    I’m just waiting for AirPods Max 2.

    I love AirPods Pro but the ear tips caused a massive allergic reaction and I can’t use them any more. I changed tips to foam and it didn’t get better. The damage was done and seems permanent.

    You should contact Apple support.

    I had a negative skin reaction to the first Apple Watch I bought. After speaking with a support rep and sending them pictures, Apple offered to refund my purchase even though it was well outside of the return window. I decided to stick it out and try a different band (the original band was leather) and different cleaning regimen with the watch and new sports band, which actually worked for me. I wipe down the back of the (stainless) watch with isopropyl alcohol every day before I put on the watch. I do the same for the inside of the sports band. For the cloth band I also use I periodically soak it in a cleaning solution (oxyclean + water) for about an hour and let it dry completely before using it again. So far this regimen has alleviated the negative reaction for me, but these kinds of steps to deal with a negative reaction to a wearable device may be completely useless for others.

    If you haven't already sold or given away the offending AirPods you have nothing to lose by asking Apple to help you out because of your unique situation. No guarantee they'll issue a refund, but why not give it a try? Apple support folks react to nice customers differently than ones who are abusive and demanding.
    edited July 1
  • Reply 9 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,264member
    Appleish said:
    I could have predicted this based on the fact that AppleCare on my AirPods Pro runs out at the end of the year.

    FYI: I have had five individual AirPods and one case replaced under AppleCare.

    These things work great, when they are not broken.

    Yeh, I got a pair last June and they've been far buggier than I expected for an Apple product.

    The main problem (I think) has been that occasionally the right one drains instead of charges when it's in its case.  First they replaced the right one and then the case -- and replacing the case seemed to do it.   But now its starting up again -- which is frustrating when you get ready for a run and pop in the Aitpods only to find that only one of them is charged.  They're covered under Applecare, so I'll see if it's just been a fluke or it will develop into an ongoing problem. 
  • Reply 10 of 11
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,191member
    Appleish said:
    I could have predicted this based on the fact that AppleCare on my AirPods Pro runs out at the end of the year.

    FYI: I have had five individual AirPods and one case replaced under AppleCare.

    These things work great, when they are not broken.
    Mine went through three individual pod replacements for a emergent buzzing effect when in either noise-canceling or transparency mode. They've been fine for a year since. There was clearly a defect in the original production phase.

    Not having them go bad would be the ideal case, but having replacements delivered to your doorstep less than 24 hours after you call it in is pretty good stand-behind-your-product service. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,264member
    AppleZulu said:
    Appleish said:
    I could have predicted this based on the fact that AppleCare on my AirPods Pro runs out at the end of the year.

    FYI: I have had five individual AirPods and one case replaced under AppleCare.

    These things work great, when they are not broken.
    Mine went through three individual pod replacements for a emergent buzzing effect when in either noise-canceling or transparency mode. They've been fine for a year since. There was clearly a defect in the original production phase.

    Not having them go bad would be the ideal case, but having replacements delivered to your doorstep less than 24 hours after you call it in is pretty good stand-behind-your-product service. 
    Sounds like that's how I'll be going:   Mine are acting up where the left one charges while the right one discharges - down to 2% in the case.
    I made an appointment with a genius at the Apple Store.   She barely listened to me before she charged off to "run diagnostics on them".  A bit later she came back and said "The diagnostics wouldn't run.   You have two choices:  either let us send them back or call online support and they'll replace them."

    I suspect she just didn't know how to run the diagnostics.   My experience in that store has been erratic -- sometimes very good, sometimes not.

    BTW, check to see if you can extend AppleCare on you AirPods -- most products you can.   I just extended it on my iPhone Xr this morning when the 2 year plan expired.  Now its on month to month ("$12 for Applecare with theft & loss).

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