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In brief: Apple has cut Q2-Q3 orders for the AirPods 3 by at least 30 percent according to respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Demand for these wireless earbuds, which debuted last October, has been significantly weaker than for AirPods 2, he added.
Apple is still on track to launch an updated version of its AirPods Pro in the second half of 2022. Kuo believes Apple could be preparing to discontinue the original AirPods Pro once the second-gen buds launch later this year to avoid making the same mistake again.
Second-gen AirPods are still available directly from Apple priced at $129. The third-gen AirPods command $179 but up the ante with spatial audio, improved battery life and an IPX4 rating against sweat and water.
In an earlier research note, Kuo claimed the upcoming AirPods Pro 2 will feature a new design that does away with the stems on the current model to look more like the Beats Fit Pro. Lossless audio support is also likely in the cards, as is a location tracking feature for the charging case to make it easier to find. The latter will almost certainly be integrated into the Find My app.
They'll also supposedly be powered by a new chip that improves connectivity with paired devices and come with built-in sensors to enable fitness tracking functionality.
No word yet on a potential price point or launch window outside of the second half of 2022.