Apple's next-generation of Airpods, called "Airpods Pro" are expected to launch at the end of this month, according to a new report.
The China Economic Daily reported that Apple is planning to release a high-end version of the Airpods with the "Pro" suffix before the end of October. The new model of the wireless earbuds will be an upgrade from the current generation of Airpods with an added feature: noise cancellation, as previously reported.
The report also points out that the Airpods Pro will be priced at approximately $260, slightly higher than the $199 that the current second-generation of Airpods with a wireless charging case retail for. The Airpods without the case can be purchased for $159.
The Airpods Pro will apparently feature a new metallic design to support the noise-cancellation functionality and will also include multiple listening modes. Earlier reports had also hinted at the possibility of the premium earbuds being water-resistant. Other improvements include an extended Bluetooth range and an improved audio chip.
The report comes merely days after an icon showing redesigned AirPods was found in the beta version of iOS 13.2. Earlier this month, 9to5Mac reported a glyph that suggested that Apple's new Airpods could mimic the look and design of its old in-ear headphones, but minus the wires. Slash Leaks also shared images of the next-generation Airpods last month.
The references to the Airpods in iOS 13.2 suggests that the new Airpods could be coming soon. After all, there have been rumours of another Apple event this month. If the Airpods Pro do arrive this month, the technology company will have to have to battle it out with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Amazon is dropping its $129 Echo Buds with Bose's noise-cancelling technology later this month. Microsoft is also releasing its $249 Surface Earbuds featuring tap-and-swipe controls this year. Search giant Google is also jumping on the wireless earbuds bandwagon with its $179 second-generation Pixel Buds next year.
The timing of the launch makes sense for Apple as the holiday gifting season is just around the corner. Wireless earphones are becoming an increasingly popular product across the world with sales expected to cross 90 million units this year.