A new report says that the long-rumored next-generation AirPods, with a design similar to the current AirPods Pro, will go into production next month. It is likely that they will be announced at the same time as this year’s iPhone series.
Speaking of which, the same report repeats earlier that Apple will return to its traditional launch in September for all four models …
Nikkei Asia reports.
In addition to shuffling its iPhone series, Apple has also prepared updated versions of other products for release in the second half of 2021 in hopes of tapping into an expected economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. These include MacBook Pros and a new version of AirPods, the company̵7;s popular wireless earbuds, which will start production next month.
Mass production of this year’s new iPhones will also begin in August, in line with Apple’s regular pre-pandemic production schedule. Apple can produce as many as 95 million units between then and the end of January, although sources stressed that such forecasts are subject to review. For the whole of 2021, Apple aims to build up to 230 million iPhones, including both existing and new models, a growth of 11% from last year, sources told Nikkei Asia.
It already looked clear that this year will be the last for the iPhone mini. The iPhone 12 mini has reportedly experienced disappointing sales, with Apple reducing production, and we have heard several reports that it will be dropped from the lineup from 2022.
Nikkei echo this and add that Apple intends an updated version of the iPhone SE to effectively replace it, by adding a faster processor and 5G features.
All iPhones released next year will be 5G compatible, including Apple’s first budget handset upgrade in two years, as the company looks to increase sales of a product that still accounts for more than half of revenue.
Apple will not introduce any new 4G models next year, said sources familiar with the Nikkei Asia case, and will instead start selling a version of the cheapest handset – the popular iPhone SE – that is compatible with the next generation communication standard.
The company will also not introduce an updated version of the iPhone Mini next year, after the premium smartphone with a smaller screen failed to capture consumers, sources added.
The budget 5G iPhone is set to hit the market already in the first half of 2022, sources informed about the case said. It will be powered by Apple’s own A15 processor – the same chip that will go into this year’s premium iPhones – and the 5G connection will be activated by Qualcomm’s X60 modem chip, they added.
This is sad news for fans of the iPhone 12 mini, as SE is expected to stick to the iPhone 8-based form factor, with an LCD screen and large chin with Touch ID button.
On the next generation AirPods page, you can see more of what we expect in our AirPods 3 guide.
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