Last month, TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the eagerly awaited AirPods Pro 2 will not ship until the fourth quarter of 2022. This news probably left a number of consumers, Apple fans, and others upset since they figured that Apple would release the premium True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds this coming March when the company often unveils new accessories. A fourth-quarter release would still give Apple time to offer the product for the next holiday season.
Kuo says to expect the AirPods Pro 2 to be released during the fourth quarter of 2022
Kuo sent a note to clients this morning detailing more leaks about the sequel to Apple’s first premium AirPods model. Having been released on October 30th, 2019, the AirPods Pro is getting long in the tooth and the battery life on the device is less than the “up to” 30 hours available with the recently released third-generation AirPods.
Kuo’s note was obtained by AppleInsider and includes some new forecasts made by the analyst. For example, he says that the AirPods Pro 2 will support Apple Lossless and will also feature a new design. In that aforementioned note he disseminated last month, Kuo said that Apple could remove the stem from the AirPods Pro 2 leaving the device to sport a similar look as the Beats Fit Pro.
Adding Apple Lossless to the AirPods Pro 2 will require that Apple somehow integrate the feature with Bluetooth connectivity. That’s because AirPods use Bluetooth to stream music which means support for the AAC codec only. Apple’s higher quality ALAC codec might require the company to come up with a way to stream music directly to the AirPods and bypass Bluetooth.
Apple’s VP of Acoustics, Gary Geaves, recently stated that Bluetooth is holding back improvements to the AirPods’ sound quality including the possible addition of spatial audio. Geaves told What Hi-Fi? that the team working on AirPods needs more bandwidth to help the device fulfill its audio potential.
The executive said, “Obviously the wireless technology is critical for the content delivery that you talk about, but also things like the amount of latency you get when you move your head, and if that’s too long, between you moving your head and the sound changing or remaining static, it will make you feel quite ill, so we have to concentrate very hard on squeezing the most that we can out of the Bluetooth technology, and there’s a number of tricks we can play to maximize or get around some of the limits of Bluetooth.”
He added, “But it’s fair to say that we would like more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there. We would like more bandwidth.”
Kuo says that the AirPods are “replicating the success of the iPhone”
The new charging case for the AirPods Pro 2 is likely to include speakers that will send out a sound allowing the user to find the case and the enclosed AirPods in the event that they go missing. A leaked photo that we showed you back in October allegedly revealed the AirPods Pro 2 charging case which included speaker holes on the bottom. And the new AirPods Pro 2 charging case is rumored to feature some integrated AirTag functionality.
Kuo says that he expects AirPods to offer some health-management capabilities in the future. You can see how the Apple Watch was able to grow sales thanks to Apple’s promotion of its health monitoring features.
The analyst estimates that Apple delivered a better than expected 27 million pairs of AirPods during the fourth quarter, a more than 100% increase from the third quarter and a 20% year-over-year increase. Kuo cited the October release of the AirPods 3 and a price reduction for the AirPods 2 for the strong holiday sales results. He compared the strength of AirPods sales to the iPhone when he said, “AirPods are replicating the success of the iPhone.”