Apple’s higher-end AirPods Pro wireless earbuds are expected to be shipped on a similar level to the second-generation AirPods by the end of the year, according to industry sources. Apple’s AirPods Pro shipments have been growing steadily since its launch in October 2019 and are likely to be on a flat level with AirPods 2 shipments by the end of 2020, the sources said, an encouraging development for SiP substrate suppliers, including Taiwan’s South Asian PCB and South Korean manufacturers. SiP is likely to become the mainstream technology for AirPods, the sources added.
Seven months after the launch of the updated AirPods, Apple introduced the AirPods Pro with a new in-ear design and a number of improvements based on regular AirPods, including active noise reduction, improved sound quality, water and sweat resistance, and more. Inevitably, these new features come with additional costs, with the AirPods Pro starting at $249 and the second-generation AirPods starting at $159. However, this has not stopped consumers. In fact, Apple will account for nearly half of real wireless earbud sales in 2019, according to Countpoint Research, and those sales are expected to grow to 82 million units this year.
Apple is developing a second-generation AirPods Pro that will be mass-produced between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, meaning there will be no replacement for the AirPods Pro in 2020 or early 2021, according to Apple analyst Ming Guo錤 Mr. Guo 錤 apple is working on a third-generation version of the low-end AirPods, which is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2021. The new AirPods are expected to feature a form factor similar to the AirPods Pro, thanks to a more compact system-level package (SiP) that integrates audio capabilities into a more compact housing.
At the same time, existing AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro users have more to look forward to, with the official release of iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, when AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro will get automatic switching between Apple devices. For example, if you finish having a phone call on your iPhone and pick up your iPad to watch a movie, AirPods will automatically switch.