The matter of the AirPods 3 release date has mainly been dealt with in broad terms, but a report from DigiTimes (opens in new tab) may at least narrow down the official reveal — which it will allegedly share with the iPhone 13.
Citing industry sources, DigiTimes claims there’s “a good chance” that Apple’s long-rumored wireless earbuds will appear at an Apple product launch in the second half of 2021. Realistically, this would likely be the iPhone 13 reveal, which is expected to take place in September.
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You’ll note that’s not a definitive confirmation of the two devices forming a single, blockbuster Apple September event, but frankly the AirPods 3 launching alongside the next iPhone just makes too much sense to entirely dismiss the notion. Pretty much all previous rumors that haven’t been debunked have put the AirPods 3 release date somewhere in Q3 2021, with mass production supposedly starting in August.
And, since the current Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro both get bonus features enabled when connected to an iOS device, the AirPods 3 and iPhone 13 are very likely to get pitched as the perfect pairing. There’s definitely scope for Apple to add full spatial audio support to the AirPods 3, even if its feature set remains largely mysterious for now.
It was already likely that Apple had a September event in the works. Other than in 2020, where the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the iPhone 12 reveal to October, Apple tends to announce its annual iPhone updates in September. There’s currently no other reason to think this year will be another outlier.
I can confirm that the AirPods 3 will release alongside the upcoming iPhone in September.July 25, 2021
For what it’s worth, Twitter leaker @dylankt (opens in new tab) has also asserted that the AirPods 3 and an upcoming iPhone will release together in September. According to AppleTrack (opens in new tab) this account has an 81.3% accuracy rating, which is higher than most — DigiTimes itself is rated at 63.5%.
We’ll be keeping an ear out for further updates, as plans can often change, but right now a joint AirPods 3/iPhone 13 launch is one of the more believable rumors we’ve heard about these earbuds.