All has been quiet on the AirPods Pro 2 front recently, but we now have a credible idea as to when they might arrive: reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims the next-gen premium take on the AirPods will launch in the second half of 2022.
What's more, Kuo says the new 'buds will be released as a direct replacement for the current AirPods Pro, which will then reportedly be discontinued. This would be a shift away from Apple's standard approach when launching new tech, which usually sees existing products remain available to buy, with a price cut.
In fact, Kuo said Apple's change in strategy would be a direct result of the "mistake" it made in releasing the AirPods 3 while the AirPods 2 were still available. The analyst explained that orders for the AirPods 3 have been cut by 30% plus for the second to third quarter of 2022, because demand for the newer AirPods hasn't been as high as that for the previous-gen wireless earbuds.
“AirPods Pro may get discontinued after Apple launches AirPods Pro 2 in 2H22 to avoid repeating the same mistake,” Kuo surmized in a tweet (opens in new tab).
This makes sense, as does the predicted launch window for the AirPods Pro 2. While Kuo only referenced the second half of 2022, we’d suggest that the AirPods Pro 2 are likely to be launched at the same time as the iPhone 14, which is expected to arrive this September. Apple has traditionally launched earbuds alongside its smartphones.
AirPods 3 orders for 2-3Q22 have been cut by 30%+. Due to the failed product segmentation strategy, demand for AirPods 3 is significantly weaker than for AirPods 2. AirPods Pro may get discontinued after Apple launches AirPods Pro 2 in 2H22 to avoid repeating the same mistake.April 5, 2022
All this would roughly track with a previous prediction from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who claimed the AirPods Pro 2 should launch later this year.
As for what features are expected in the new 'buds, there haven’t been many fresh AirPods Pro 2 rumors lately. But they have been tipped to feature lossless audio and a trackable case, ambient light sensors to aid with wellness tracking, and even new tech that identifies the user by the shape of their ear canal.
We’d happily settle for a longer battery life, improved audio quality and better active noise cancellation; not that the current AirPods Pro are poor in those regards of course; after all, they have earned a spot on our best wireless earbuds list.