Apple's next AirPods, AirPods Pro may be a long way off

If you're in the market for some AirPods but wondering if you should hold out to see if Apple releases a new model, one prolific Apple analyst suggests that the wait will be a long one. Apple, in fact, may not have a new version of its standard AirPods ready to go until 2021. It could be an even longer wait for a follow-up to the AirPods Pro, Apple's more expensive and capable wireless earbuds.

So says Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (as reported by AppleInsider), who predicted in a note to investors today that the next iteration of Apple's standard AirPods might not enter production until the first half of 2021. That goes against recent rumors which claimed we'd see a new AirPods model launch later this year – rather, Kuo thinks those will be a new Beats model.

The outlook gets even more bleak for those holding out for a new AirPods Pro model, with Kuo saying that he doesn't expect those to enter mass production until late 2021 or even the first quarter of 2022. Potentially, that means we wouldn't see them announced and released until spring or even early summer 2022.

Kuo expects the third-generation AirPods to shake up the internals, but more specific information wasn't available on that front. Similarly, Kuo thinks that Apple may shift to a system-in-package design for the internals of the new AirPods Pro, but of course, given that these could still be two years out from release, that's a tough call to make with certainty.

What's the hold up with new AirPods models? Kuo seems to think that Apple will begin mass producing its rumored headphones in mid-2020, launching them later in the year. As always, take Kuo's predictions with a grain of salt, because nothing is set in stone until Apple confirms it – that's particularly true when we're in the midst of a global pandemic. We'll see what happens from here and update you when we know more.