Apple to Introduce Entry-Level AirPods Lite in H2 2024, Analyst Says


Apple could launch AirPods Lite — a more affordable version of its truly wireless stereo (TWS) earphones — later this year, alongside the second generation over the ears AirPods Max headphones, according to an investor note from a market analyst. Previous reports have also suggested that Apple is working on cheaper AirPods models alongside refreshed versions of the standard AirPods and AirPods Max, while the company is yet to disclose any plans to launch new wireless earphone models this year. 

According to an investor note issued by Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu seen by 9to5Mac, the iPhone maker will launch a cheaper AirPods Lite model in H2 2024. Apple is also planning to launch a new AirPods Max model later this year, to succeed the first-generation model that was introduced in December 2020, according to Pu, who didn’t provide any details on how much the device could cost, or what features it would offer. 

Production of AirPods is expected to increase during the second half of the year, the analyst reportedly stated in the research note that also predicts a “muted demand for existing models” will result in the volume of the company’s TWS earphones falling to 55 million units this year — a drop of 4 percent year-on-year (YoY).

Last month, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple was preparing its “biggest AirPods launch to date”. The Cupertino firm is expected to launch the successor to the AirPods (3rd generation) in two models codenamed B768(E) and B768(M) — the E and M are said to stand for “entry” and “mid-tier”, respectively, and the latter could arrive with support for more features, such as active noise cancellation and external speakers for improved Find My support.

There’s no word on whether Apple will launch two new fourth generation AirPods models in addition to the rumoured AirPods Lite, or whether the cheaper AirPods 4 model could make its debut as the purported entry level AirPods Lite. Earlier reports suggest a third generation AirPods Pro is expected to arrive in H2 2025 with an improved H3 chip and a new earbud design. More details on the company’s upcoming AirPods models are likely to surface in the coming months, before they are rumoured to make their debut.

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