February 3, 2023

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Apple could soon launch chepaer ‘AirPods Lite’

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Apple could be developing a new, cheaper version of its wireless earbuds that will help it keep up with competitors, industry sources suggest.

It has been rumoured that the tech giant is working on a product called ‘AirPods Lite’ amid fears that there will be a drop in demand for its third generation AirPods in 2023.

Few details have been shared – and the company has not commented on the claims – but it is expected that the cheaper earbuds would be priced somewhere below $129 (£107), which is what the second generation AirPods currently cost.

The technology has proved very popular among Apple users but it does not come cheap — and with no indication of a date for its fourth generation AirPods this year there is a gap for the company to potentially launch a new product.

Insider claim: Apple could be developing a new, cheaper version of its wireless earbuds that will help it keep up with competitors, industry sources suggest. It has been rumoured that the tech giant is working on a product called ‘AirPods Lite’. Pictured are Apple’s AirPods Pro 2

Analyst Jeff Pu, of Haitong Intl Tech Research, said in a note seen by 9to5Mac that the aim of the new AirPods Lite was to compete with cheaper wireless earbuds. 

He said that industry sources had told him that shipments of AirPods are expected to drop from 73 million units in 2022 to 63 million this year.

This has been blamed on a lack of demand for the third generation AirPods, which later this year will be two years old, coupled with the fact there is a suggestion that Apple won’t release a newer version in 2023.

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If the AirPods Lite rumour is true, there are no details on when they might be launched by the tech giant. 

There is also no information about what the earbuds will look like or what features they’ll have just yet – but they almost certainly won’t have active noise cancellation as this is reserved for the high-end AirPod Pro model.

As a price comparison, AirPods 3 cost $169, or £179 in the UK, AirPods 2 cost $129, or £129 in the UK, and AirPods Pro (2nd generation) $249 (£249).

Unlike the standard AirPods, the new Pro model which was launched last year comes with silicone ear tips – available in four sizes – meaning they fit much more comfortably in a user’s ears and feel secure when running or walking.

Few details have been shared ¿ and the company has not commented on the claims ¿ but it is expected that the cheaper earbuds would be priced somewhere below $129 (£107), which is what the second generation AirPods currently cost

Few details have been shared – and the company has not commented on the claims – but it is expected that the cheaper earbuds would be priced somewhere below $129 (£107), which is what the second generation AirPods currently cost 

They also offer better noise cancellation and a new charging case with the U1 chip for Precision Finding.

As well as the AirPods 3, there is also no information about when Apple plans to update the premium AirPods Max headphones, which are currently priced at $549 (£549).

The latest rumour has dropped on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is due to begin on Thursday. 

The event will be the first in-person, full capacity CES since 2020, due to the Covid pandemic. 

Held at the the Las Vegas Convention Center, it showcases some of the newest products from tech giants including Amazon, Samsung and Meta.

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Apple, meanwhile, doesn’t attend CES, nor the other big tech exhibitions of the year, because it prefers to hold its own events under its own steam, so there won’t be any more information about the rumoured AirPods Lite coming out of it.

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WHAT NEW APPLE PRODUCTS HAVE GONE ON SALE?

Apple could soon launch chepaer 'AirPods Lite'

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

The standard model retails for £849 and comes with a 6.1-inch screen, while the Plus costs £949 and has a 6.7-inch screen. 

They support satellite connectivity that will let users send satellite SOS messages if they’re caught in an emergency without service.

They also have technology that can detect when users are in a car crash and automatically call emergency services, thanks to a dual-core accelerometer that can detect G-force measurements when vehicles are hit.

They will be available in the colours midnight, starlight, blue, purple and red. 

iPhone 14 Pro and  iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro and  iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro has a 6.1-inch screen (same as the standard model) and costs £1,099, while Pro Max has a 6.7-inch screen (same as the Plus) and costs a mammoth £1,199. 

They have more advanced cameras than the standard and Plus models, and a sophisticated pill-shaped notch at the top of the screen, called ‘Dynamic Island’.

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Dynamic Island hides the front-facing camera but also changes size to show important alerts, notifications, and activities, blurring the line between hardware and software, according to Apple.

They also have satellite connectivity and car crash detection technology, and will be available in the colours deep purple, silver, gold, and space black.

Apple Watch Series 8

Apple Watch Series 8 

Apple Watch Series 8

The £419 ($399) Apple Watch Series 8 has an Always-On display – meaning the screen shows a small amount of quickly glanceable information when it’s idle.

It also has a strong crack-resistant front crystal, a temperature sensor that provides estimates of when a female wearer is ovulating and the same crash detection technology as the iPhone 14.

The battery of the Series 8 can also go for longer – up to 36 hours from a single charge – than that of the SE 2, thanks to a low power mode. 

Apple Watch SE 2

Apple Watch SE 2 

Apple Watch SE 2

Apple Watch SE 2 delivers some of the Series 8’s advanced features, including crash detection, at a lower price (starting from £259 or $249). 

It does have the ovulation feature, but it’s less comprehensive than on the Series 8.

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