Two new AirPods 4 models might be released later this year

Mike Powers
Two new AirPods 4 models might be released later this year

Apple is poised to release not one, but two next-gen versions of its popular AirPods this coming fall, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. What’s particularly interesting is that production on Apple’s fourth-gen AirPods will be in the 20 million to 25 million range. This marks a sizable increase from previous production runs.

With respect to the increased production, Gurman notes that it’s shaping up to be a “record-setting run.” Specifically, the AirPods 4 models will be part of Apple’s strategy to boost its presence in the lower end of the market. If this is indeed Apple’s goal, one would expect to see a price cut on at least one of the AirPods 4 models. As a frame of reference, the current AirPods 3 retails for $179. Apple last released a revamped AirPods model back in October of 2021, so the timing for the rumored AirPods 4 release certainly fits.

AirPods 4 features

It will certainly be interesting to see what new features AirPods 4 brings to the table. After all, Apple does need to keep some differentiation between the entry-level AirPods and AirPods Pro. Recall, AirPods 3 incorporated some AirPods Pro features, including spatial audio, a boost in battery life, and improved water resistance. Of course, the key difference between AirPods and AirPods Pro has long been noise cancellation. That, however, is poised to change with AirPods 4.

Gurman writes:

The new models will replace the second- and third-generation AirPods. The updated versions are codenamed B768(E) and B768(M), with the E representing “entry” and the M standing for “mid-tier.” Both will have a new design, improved fit and charging cases with USB-C, but the mid-tier version will get active noise cancellation and Find My speakers in the case, making it easier to locate the product if it gets lost.

What’s more, some software enhancements for AirPods are also in the works. One such feature is a hearing aid mode that we discussed just last week.

With noise-cancellation coming to AirPods 4, it remains to be seen what Apple will add to its next-gen AirPods Pro. After all, Apple certainly doesn’t want to drive potential AirPods Pro users to its AirPods 4 line.

To this end, don’t expect a brand new iteration of AirPods Pro anytime soon. According to several reports, a refresh isn’t slated to occur until 2025 at the earliest. This shouldn’t be surprising given that AirPods Pro 2 hit stores in September of 2022, which was a full three years after the release of the original AirPods Pro.

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