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.
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.