There have been leaks aplenty concerning the next version of Apple’s massively popular true wireless AirPods. However, the most recent report, from China Economic Daily, appears to confirm what we’ve suspected for some time: The next AirPods will be called the AirPods Pro and will launch as early as the end of October for 8,000 Taiwanese dollars ($260), according to the report.
The publication also reiterated that the AirPods Pro will feature some kind of noise cancellation technology, facilitated by the new fully in-ear design. Other features expected on the AirPods Pro are a formal IPX rating for sweat and water resistance and possibly better battery life.
The rumored timing of a late-October launch is a significant shift from the March 2020 timeframe that has been previously suggested. Given how close we are to that timeframe, we’re somewhat skeptical. Previously, there were multiple suggestions that Apple was planning a major October Mac-oriented event. This might have been a good opportunity to introduce the AirPods Pro, but now that event’s timing is being reconsidered given Apple’s tendency to issue press invites two weeks prior to its planned events — something which so far hasn’t happened.
Does that mean we won’t see the AirPod Pros this fall? Not necessarily. Apple has a track record of multiple fall product announcements and could still debut the new earbuds with enough time for consumers to add the new AirPods Pro to their holiday wish lists.
At the rumored $260 price, the AirPod Pros will be a big jump up from the current AirPods which start at just $159. Still, Apple’s own Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds debuted at $250, so perhaps that will be the starting price for the AirPods Pro. Powerbeats Pros are now discounted to just $199, which may indicate that Apple considers the true wireless market too competitive to stick to its guns on pricing over a longer-term the way it has traditionally done with its other products.
AirPods Pro competitors like Sony’s excellent WF-1000XM3, sell for very close to this price range so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Apple charge a small premium for its latest true wireless earbuds.
To stay up-to-date on all the rumors and news surrounding the next Apple AirPods, check out our ongoing coverage — Apple AirPods 3: Everything we know about the next Pods.