AirPods 3 release date tip pushed back to Q3

A report this week from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that mass production of AirPods 3 won't begin until Q3. This is a significant change from what's been leaked in the recent past, with tips suggesting a release of the earbuds inside the month of March. The new AirPods are rumored to bridge the gap between AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, allowing more users to enter the ecosystem with a slightly lower price than AirPods Pro.

If you're looking to buy a new pair of AirPods any time soon, you may want to wait until at least the end of this month. If Apple does not hold an event with a new set of AirPods 3 here in March, it's unlikely they'll be launched in the first half of the year. In the note seen by MacRumors, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that mass production of AirPods 3 would begin in the third quarter of 2021.

That'd mean it'd be at least July before we see the AirPods 3 released to the public. If that's the case, we'll see AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro maintain their price through the next several months at least. That's assuming these aren't the same model tipped as AirPods Pro Lite earlier this year.

As soon as AirPods 3 are revealed by Apple, prices for AirPods 2 will almost certainly be reduced. That's not a guarantee, but based on what we've seen with previous releases of devices with names in line with their predecessors, one replaces the other, and the older unit gets a reduced price.

The differences between the devices will likely be relatively few, unless you're looking for a set of AirPods that look more like AirPods Pro than they do AirPods 2, with a price that's slightly lower than AirPods Pro. Take a peek at the timeline below to see a few more details on the AirPods 3 release and potential release dates in the next few weeks OR in the second half of the year. We shall see!