New AirPods, HomePod mini and AirPods Max models will be arriving in about a year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab) predicts.
He claims in his latest tweets that these new Apple audio products will hit mass production in at least the second half of 2024, with the products actually launching shortly after, or the first half of 2025 at the earliest.
I predict Apple will launch USB-C-capable charging cases for all AirPods models in 2023. However, the charging case of the new AirPods Pro 2 launched in 2H22 may still support Lightning.August 9, 2022
The claim of new AirPods is interesting, as it could refer to two different types of 'buds. It could mean the follow-up to the AirPods 3, launched in 2021, which itself came two years after the AirPods 2. Equally, we've been hearing rumors of a new cheaper AirPods model, although it's currently tipped for a launch this year rather than next.
This new AirPods model may use a USB-C port on its charging case, according to previous comments by Kuo. We've yet to see any Apple audio gear swap from their existing Lightning ports, but Kuo says USB-C AirPods cases are coming this year, which would therefore apply to any models coming after that too.
We've just had the full-size HomePod 2 arrive, offering a larger and more premium experience of the current HomePod mini, but effectively all the same features. A new HomePod mini could offer new features in order to justify itself as an upgrade, which we hope would include greater support for music streaming services and better controls, as we noted in our otherwise very positive review.
With the original AirPods Max now over two years old, it feels like an AirPods Max 2 upgrade is due. There aren't any rumors to go off of yet, but we are hoping there will be upgrades like an actual power button and better battery life that will make the headphones' usability as good as their sound quality.
We're still expecting plenty from Apple in 2023, even if all these new audio gizmos aren't coming until next year. We've already had the refreshed 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini, and we'll no doubt have the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch 9 later in the year. Also look out for the rumored Apple AR/VR headset, which could be Apple's biggest new product of the year.