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Apple AirPods 3 won’t enter mass production until Q3 2021: Ming-Chi Kuo


Apple is expected to announce new products on March 23. Although the company hasn’t shed any light on this yet, reports said that it would launch AirPods 3 along with others like AirTags, iPad Pro, and the long-rumored Apple TV. However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that the next-gen AirPods won’t enter mass production until Q3 2021.

Apple AirPods 3 Render
AirPods 3 Render

In an investor’s note(via 9to5mac), Kuo says that Apple is currently in a state of dilemma whether to stick to the AirPods 3 production or still make AirPods 2 later in the year. Either way, according to his report, the AirPods 3 will go into mass production only by Q3(i.e around July/August).

This means it won’t be ready to ship till the end of the year, to say the least. Whether or not, Apple plans to bring it during the September event, it looks like the product won’t go official this month. This contradicts his own and several other early reports that indicated a launch around Q2.

Coming to the AirPods 3, lot of designs showing earbuds with shorter stems have been leaking on the internet

. Here, there is a discrepancy on whether it would get the replaceable ear tips or not. however, we can expect it to feature improved ANC(Active Noise cancellation).

Further, Kuo shares some predictions about the AirPods shipments in 2021. He says that there will be a 25% YoY decline in shipments from Q1 to Q3 and fall to 55 million units. After the launch of the AirPods 3, if the demand is high, the shipments might rise to 78 million units for the whole of 2021.


Some of the prime reasons for this drop is said to be the competition from rivals. Many of the TWS in the market have good overall features and Apple’s USPs like quick pairing and fast switching doesn’t seem to help.

To add fuel to the fire, AirPods Max has had very little impact on the overall AirPods shipments(1 million units). Kuo finally says that if Apple needs to get on the heels of the competition, it should focus more on providing more health-related features on its AirPods.



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