Apple’s September keynotes have traditionally been the Cupertino company’s regular spot in the calendar for its razzmatazz unveiling of the latest iPhone, but the Far Out Apple event could see the smartphone having to share center stage with another big product release: AirPods Pro 2.
According to prolific Apple leaker and journalist Mark Gurman, this week’s event is also set to include the introduction of the new AirPods model alongside the expected unveiling of the iPhone 14 range and the Apple Watch Series 8.
If Gurman’s prediction of a Wednesday unveiling is accurate, and we suspect that it is, the move would upend the way Apple has dealt with all of the more recent AirPods releases.
While the original AirPods were first introduced at Apple’s “See You on the 7th” event on the 7th of September, 2016, nearly all subsequent iterations of Apple’s earphones have had their unveilings in either October or December.
The original AirPods Pro were announced via an Apple Newsroom press release on October 28, 2019 and were available to buy two days later, while the over-ear AirPods Max made their first public appearance on December 15 the following year.
Keeping with the trend,the third generation AirPods were launched on October 18, 2021.
The only deviation during this three-year period was the release of the second generation AirPods which were launched on March 20, 2019. So between March 2019 and now, all AirPods had been released in October or later.
Gurman says Apple’s decision for an earlier than usual launch of the new AirPod Pros may be down to the company aiming to encourage buyers of the iPhone 14 to also purchase new headphones in tandem with their new handset.
The AirPods and Apple Watch currently share top performer status within the company’s Wearables, Home and Accessories category, which generates about 10% of Apple’s revenue.
Those numbers are undoubtedly amazing, but a push to get consumers to coincide their purchase and pick up a pair of earbuds specifically designed for their new iPhone could see those impressive figures rise even further.
The overhauled new AirPod Pros are set to boast several new features including improved audio quality, longer battery life thanks to a new H2 chip, as well as a new charging case with Find My support.
Other expected enhancements for the high-end wireless earbuds include all-new fitness tracking capabilities and improved in-ear detection with support for Bluetooth's LE Audio specification also rumored.
They're rumored to launch at the same $249 / £239 / AU$399 price as the current AirPods Pro cost officially, which may mean that price of the current model will drop as stock is sold off, which could make them the bargain of the year.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.