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Apple on track to reveal AirPods 3 in 2021, sources suggest

AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Apple is expected to start mass production of the next-generation AirPods this August, along with updated MacBook Pro models and the company's rumored iPhone 13, to gear up for a release by the end of 2021.

Sources speaking to publication Nikkei Asia claim several Apple products are on track to launch soon, with production starting as soon as next month. This supports previous rumors that multiple Apple suppliers reportedly already shipped components for the AirPods 3 earlier this month.

Circuit board component or the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch 7 have also already kicked off, with an expected release date for Apple's new line of products to be between September 12 and September 22. The tech giant is tipped to return to its traditional September event after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed plans in 2020.

With Apple's next-generation earbuds now entering mass production soon, it's likely we'll see the AirPods 3 sooner rather than later — if the report is anything to go by. The Apple ecosystem plays a significant role in all of the company's products, meaning if the next iPhone releases this year, the AirPods 3 are sure to follow.

Sales for Apple's next flagship smartphone are expected to soar, as the Cupertino company asked suppliers to boost production to 90 million units, compared to the usual 75 million units. With more smartphones to dish out, the updated AirPods could see a surge in sales, too. 

AirPods are changing 

The rumor mill has been churning out a number of significant changes coming to the AirPods 3. Reports suggest Apple’s rumored earbuds are expected to lose the long stem along with adopting the silicone ear tips of the AirPods Pro.

Apple's earbuds may even include active noise cancellation (ANC), along with a compact system-in-package (SiP) similar to the AirPods Pro to improve battery life.

While the rumored AirPods 3 have yet to be officially announced, we may have already seen a sneak peek at what to expect thanks to Apple's recently released Beats Studio Buds