A NEW pair of AirPods may be launching this week, insiders have claimed.
Apple has reportedly created a top-secret new set of wireless earbuds.
The so-called Apple AirPods Pro 2 are tipped to arrive on Wednesday, September 7.
They're expected to share the spotlight with the new iPhone 14 at Apple's Far Out launch event.
Apple hasn't officially confirmed what will be on show at its Californian HQ.
But respected Apple leaker and journalist Mark Gurman says that a pair of AirPods is on the cards.
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"The new AirPods Pro will update a model that first went on sale in October 2019," Gurman explained in his Power On newsletter.
"I reported last year that new AirPods Pro would arrive in 2022.
"And now I'm told that Wednesday will be their big unveiling."
Stemming the stem
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This follows another recent report that suggested Apple would ship the new AirPods with a fresh stem-less design.
They would simply sit in the ear like small buds, potentially with a wingtip design to keep them in-ear.
That's according to Apple blog 9to5Mac, citing respected tech expert and industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo says that the new design will be available on the AirPods Promodel only – at least initially.
"We expect Apple to launch AirPods Pro 2…with new selling points, including a new form factor design, support for Apple Lossless (ALAC) format," said TF Securities analyst Kuo.
"And a charging case that can emit a sound for users to track.
"We are optimistic about the demand for AirPods Pro 2 and estimate shipments will reach 18–20million units in 2022."
Apple first launched the AirPods back in 2016 – with bemused fans comparing the design electric toothbrush heads at first.
But the AirPods are now a cultural icon covered by teens and adults alike.
Apple has since launched several generations of AirPods, including a Pro model.
And while they all offer different features, they still all feature a stem on each bud.
Removing the stem would significantly reduce the size of the gadget.
It would also potentially force Apple to rethink the physical controls, as AirPods Pro owners can currently squeeze the stem to perform functions – like pausing playback.
Apple could potentially move these touch controls onto the earbud itself.
Of course, Apple hasn't confirmed any such plans – so take all rumours with a pinch of salt for now.
So when will these slick new AirPods Pro be available?
Sadly there's no definitive answer, although the original AirPods Pro are now three years old.
Apple is set to host a special event on September 7 where we'll likely see the launch of the iPhone 14.
That could be a great opportunity for Apple to drop an upgrade to one of its most popular iPhone accessories.
If not, there's also talk of Apple hosting a second event in October for a new iPad launch.
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This could also be a prime slot for a new AirPods Pro reveal.
Unfortunately we won't know the truth until Apple chief Tim Cook gets on stage later this year.
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