Could Apple be working on an affordable AirPods Pro 'Lite'?

Apple Airpods Pro,

With a new and improved design, silicone ear tips that fit snugly into more ears, and IPX4 water and sweat resistance, the recently launched Apple AirPods Pro are perhaps the best truly wireless earbuds that money can buy. However, not everyone is willing to shell out $249 for a pair of earbuds no matter how good they are. But it seems like Apple is going to fix the only thing that is not so good about its best AirPods till date.

No, Apple isn't going to make the AirPods Pro cheaper by giving it a price cut. Instead, the Cupertino-based tech giant is likely to bring out a Lite variant of its AirPods Pro.

Apple AirPods Pro Lite

According to a report in DigiTimes, Apple is working with its Taiwanese supply chain partners on several upcoming products including a purported "AirPod Pro Lite".

However, the report doesn't give any further details about the supposed AirPods Pro Lite except suggesting that the mention of an "AirPod Pro Lite" was buried in a report relating to Apple's plans to ramp up production including that of upcoming iPads, Apple Watch and iMac with its partners in Taiwan as the company is reportedly looking at diversifying its supply chain in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has impacted production in China.

"Apple, maintaining partnership with supply chains in both Taiwan and China may have its Taiwanese partners handle more production of new-generation iPad, Apple Watch, AirPod Pro Lite and iMac devices to be released later as the epidemic has raised risks of raw materials supply shortages and shipments disruptions arising from uncertain resumption of normal operations at components suppliers and assembly plants in China," the report cited sources with direct knowledge of the matter as saying.

AirPods Pro for the masses?

The "Lite" suffix is suggestive of the upcoming variant to be not only a slightly toned-down version, but also points at a less exorbitant price tag. If the report turns out to be accurate then we can expect an AirPods Pro variant that could be affordable to a larger user base.

Could Apple really bring out a cheaper AirPods Pro?

But in all likelihood, it seems a bit unlikely that Apple would come up with a Kite version of its truly wireless earbuds at a lower price as the company just released the AirPods Pro in October 2019, and the second-generation of the standard AirPods prior to that in March. Also, the fact that there's just $50 separating the AirPods Pro and the AirPods 2 with wireless charging case, the chances of an AirPod Pro Lite happening anytime soon seem even slimmer.

Even if Apple were to launch an AirPod Pro Lite as suggested by the report, we are not sure where or how the Lite version of the AirPods Pro will fit into the AirPods lineup, considering that there is just a $50 gap between the Pro and the standard AirPods.

While DigiTimes has some insight into Apple's upcoming products through its links with the supply chain, it isn't quite as accurate when it comes to specific details like names and product launch timelines.