Update: A more recent rumor has narrowed down the release date of the AirPods Pro 2 to Q3 2022.
According to Bloomberg (opens in new tab) the third-generation AirPods will look more like AirPods Pro, but miss out on premium features like active noise-cancellation. The high-end AirPods Pro 2, meanwhile, may ditch the stem all together. A current prototype is similar in design to the Amazon Echo Buds and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, sources familiar with the plans told Bloomberg.
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Apple is allegedly looking to improve the stamina of its AirPods, too. Although both the standard pair and AirPods Pro are two of the best wireless earbuds around, neither are celebrated for their existing battery life.
Improving AirPods Pro has posed challenges during development, according to Bloomberg. Troubles with scaling down the features of these $249 buds might prevent Apple from going stem-less for the first time since the original AirPods debuted in 2016.
This isn't the first time we've heard about plans for both third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro. DigiTimes previously reported that AirPods 3 are coming in the first half 2021, while AirPods Pro 2 would arrive in the latter half of next year.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has an excellent track records for leaks, so it's not much of a surprise that his new intel lines up.