Apple AirPods Pro 2 remain on track for a 2022 release as rumours emerge of low AirPods 3 demand and poor sales
According to new information from Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has altered its plans for AirPods production going forwards. Supposedly, the company has scaled-back AirPods 3 orders in Q2 and Q3 2022 by 30%, owing to a 'failed product segmentation strategy'. In other words, demand for AirPods 3 is lower than it was for the AirPods 2.
Potentially, Apple's decision to continue to sell older AirPods at a significantly lower price than the AirPods 3 has harmed the latter's appeal. Also, the AirPods 3 are not that much cheaper than the AirPods Pro, despite offering fewer features than Apple's 'Pro' earbuds. Ultimately, it seems that Apple has been unable to distinguish the AirPods 3 from its cheaper and more expensive siblings.
As a result, Kuo claims that Apple will discontinue the existing AirPods Pro when the AirPods Pro 2 arrives. For reference, Apple launched the AirPods Pro in October 2019, making them two and a half years old at this point. Reportedly, Apple still plans to release the AirPods Pro 2 in 2H 2022, likely alongside the iPhone 14 series.
Additionally, Apple is rumoured to have equipped the next-generation earbuds with a new Bluetooth chip for higher quality audio transmission. However, it is doubtful that Apple would adopt Qualcomm aptX or Sony LDAC or an equivalent. Instead, Apple could develop a proprietary Bluetooth codec, or it may continue to use AAC in some form. Regardless, the AirPods Pro 2 are tipped to feature a revised design as well, along with improved battery life and superior active noise cancellation (ANC).