The latest Apple AirPods news comes not from Apple itself, but from a leak by a well-informed analyst — Jeff Pu of Haitong International Tech Research (via 9to5Mac). The analyst talked about the possibility of Apple working on “AirPods Lite,” a product that would help it break into the mainstream market and steal some business from competitors that charge lower prices for wireless buds.
According to Jeff Pu, the demand for AirPods is not on the rise — instead, it’s most likely going to drop this year. Shipments of new Apple AirPods are expected to reduce drastically, going down from 73 million units shipped in 2022 to 63 million this year. Seeing as Apple may not be releasing new AirPods this year, there may be no new product hype to drive up some extra sales. Combined with the rather steep prices, some customers might turn away from Apple. Assuming the report proves to be true, they might also come running right back soon enough.
As per the note, Apple is working on “AirPods Lite,” which Pu says will be a “lower priced product.” Seeing as the cheapest AirPods currently cost around $129, this could put the price of these alleged Lite earphones at $100 or less. It’s unclear what kind of features we could expect from them, though, or even when they’ll release. One thing is for sure — if Apple releases these earbuds, there will likely be a market for them, especially if the price is kept reasonable.