Kuo sent a note to clients this morning detailing more leaks about the sequel to Apple’s first premium AirPods model. Having been released on October 30th, 2019, the AirPods Pro is getting long in the tooth and the battery life on the device is less than the “up to” 30 hours available with the recently released third-generation AirPods.
The much awaited AirPods Pro 2 will not ship until the fourth quarter of 2022, according to TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. This news is likely to have disappointed a number of customers, Apple enthusiasts, and others who expected Apple to introduce the pricey True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earphones in March, when the firm usually announces new accessories. Apple would still be able to offer the device for the next holiday season if it were released in the fourth quarter. The AirPods Pro 2 will be available in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Kuo.
Adding Apple Lossless to the AirPods Pro 2 will require that Apple somehow integrate the feature with Bluetooth connectivity. That’s because AirPods use Bluetooth to stream music which means support for the AAC codec only. Apple’s higher quality ALAC codec might require the company to come up with a way to stream music directly to the AirPods and bypass Bluetooth. Apple’s VP of Acoustics, Gary Geaves, recently stated that Bluetooth is holding back improvements to the AirPods’ sound quality including the possible addition of spatial audio. Geaves told What Hi-Fi? that the team working on AirPods needs more bandwidth to help the device fulfill its audio potential.
Photo allegedly shows the charging case for the AirPods Pro 3 with speakers on the bottom and a strap holder on the side – Top analyst Kuo leaks more information about the AirPods Pro 2 and its charging case. Photo allegedly shows the charging case for the AirPods Pro 3 with speakers on the bottom and a strap holder on the side. Kuo’s note was obtained by AppleInsider and includes some new forecasts made by the analyst. For example, he says that the AirPods Pro 2 will support Apple Lossless and will also feature a new design. In that aforementioned note he disseminated last month, Kuo said that Apple could remove the stem from the AirPods Pro 2 leaving the device to sport a similar look as the Beats Fit Pro.
The new charging case for the AirPods Pro 2 is likely to include speakers that will send out a sound allowing the user to find the case and the enclosed AirPods in the event that they go missing. A leaked photo that we showed you back in October allegedly revealed the AirPods Pro 2 charging case which included speaker holes on the bottom. And the new AirPods Pro 2 charging case is rumored to feature some integrated AirTag functionality.
The executive said, “Obviously the wireless technology is critical for the content delivery that you talk about, but also things like the amount of latency you get when you move your head, and if that’s too long, between you moving your head and the sound changing or remaining static, it will make you feel quite ill, so we have to concentrate very hard on squeezing the most that we can out of the Bluetooth technology, and there’s a number of tricks we can play to maximize or get around some of the limits of Bluetooth.”
Kuo says that he expects AirPods to offer some health-management capabilities in the future. You can see how the Apple Watch was able to grow sales thanks to Apple’s promotion of its health monitoring features. The analyst estimates that Apple delivered a better than expected 27 million pairs of AirPods during the fourth quarter, a more than 100% increase from the third quarter and a 20% year-over-year increase. Kuo cited the October release of the AirPods 3 and a price reduction for the AirPods 2 for the strong holiday sales results. He compared the strength of AirPods sales to the iPhone when he said, “AirPods are replicating the success of the iPhone.”