The last time Apple updated its AirPods lineup was actually back in 2019 where they launched the second-gen model. We would have expected Apple to launch new AirPods this year, at least based on the company’s past release schedule, but it’s starting to look like that will not be happening.
In a report from Digitimes (paywall), they are claiming to have heard from their sources in Apple’s supply chain that the third-gen AirPods will only be arriving in the first half of 2021. It is unclear why Apple is taking this long to bring the third-gen model to the market, but given the success of the AirPods, it looks like customers are still more than happy to keep buying the existing models.
That being said, the third-gen model is expected to bring about some design changes. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously stated that the third-gen model will feature a design similar to the AirPods Pro, which is more of an in-ear design that will help the earphones fit more snugly in the ears of the wearer.
As for the second-gen AirPods Pro model, last we heard, it could potentially launch in 2021 as well, although possibly towards the end of 2021 or even early 2022.