KEY POINTS

  • Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a new research note
  • He said Apple's next AirPods model will use SiP design
  • The AirPods Pro features the same technology

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple will use a more complex system-in-package (SiP) chip solution in its upcoming next-generation AirPods model, replacing the technology being used by the current models.

In a research note obtained by Apple Insider, the TF International Securities analyst wrote that the upcoming AirPods 3 will feature SiP technology instead of the surface mount technology (SMT) in the first- and second-gen AirPods models.

SiP allows manufacturers to pack more components into a smaller space. The AirPods Pro, which has a different form factor compared to the regular AirPods, uses an SiP design. SiP technology allowed Apple to equip the AirPods Pro with its in-house H1 chip, which provided better features compared to the AirPods, even in a smaller body, including active noise cancellation.

Kuo said Apple will introduce SiP in its upcoming entry-level AirPods products starting next year. The use of such a technology in its entry-level earbuds, however, does not mean that they will also feature active noise cancellation and other things that the AirPods Pro offered.

The analyst, however, noted that Apple's next-gen AirPods will have a form factor akin to that of the AirPods Pro. This device, currently referred to as “AirPods 3,” was previously called “AirPods Lite” in earlier reports.

What to expect

What should fans expect from the next-generation AirPods model? Here are a few possibilities:

  • It will have the same form factor as the AirPods Pro

As mentioned, the next-gen model will look more similar to the current AirPods Pro and less like the original AirPods. This means a shorter stem and an in-ear design.

  • It won't have noise cancellation

The next-gen model will be an entry-level offering, which means it won't have the same bells and whistles as the more premium and expensive AirPods Pro. This means it likely won't feature active noise cancellation.

  • It will be cheaper than the AirPods Pro

As an entry-level offering, the next-gen AirPods can be expected to sell for less than the Pro model. Previous reports speculate that it could be sold for less than $200 but not lower than $159.

AirPods Pro AirPods Pro Photo: Aconcagua