AirPods 3 release date leak: Here's when it could arrive

Apple Airpods Pro
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

When will the AirPods 3 come out? What will it look like?

Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo answered both of our pressing questions about the next-gen Apple AirPods in a research note to investors obtained by MacRumors (via BGR).

Kuo, known to be a reliable leaker, predicted that the AirPods 3 will borrow some attractive design features from the AirPods Pro.

When will AirPods 3 come out?

The AirPods 3, according to Kuo, will be released sometime during the first half of 2021. 

The second-generation AirPods was released in March 2019, so many analysts believe that AirPods 3 could hit store shelves during the same season next year.

This release date window means the official AirPods 3 announcement could potentially take place during a special March Apple event or during WWDC 2021 in June.

It's also worth noting that, according to BGR, early reports leaked that Apple was planning to release the AirPods 3 this year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cupertino-based giant decided to push back the release date to next year.

What will the AirPods 3 look like?

The AirPods 3 will reportedly mimic the AirPods Pro design.

When AirPods 2 debuted last year in March, it featured always-listening Hey Siri voice activation and a wireless charging case option, but the design looked similar to the original AirPods.

This time, the AirPods 3 will likely adopt the AirPods Pro's best design features, including shorter stems and gel tips.

As of this writing, details about the AirPods 3 are still hazy. The unofficial name indicates that it could be the successor to the current-gen AirPods, but Kuo may very well be talking about the AirPods Lite -- the rumored budget-friendly version of Apple's AirPods.

We're crossing our fingers for another revealing leak to provide more clarity about Apple's upcoming AirPods.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!