In an attempt to compete with cheaper wireless earbuds, Apple is reportedly looking to develop its own budget-friendly version of the AirPods, as shared by analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong Intl Tech Research (via 9to5Mac).
Apple already has a wide variety of AirPods that it sells, ranging from the entry-level AirPods for $179, the 3rd-Gen AirPods for $229, the 2nd-Gen AirPods Pro for $329 and the premium AirPods Max for $779. However, according to Jeff Pu, the demand for AirPods is expected to fall by roughly 10 million units in 2023, from 73 million units in 2022 to 63 million units in 2023.
Pu quotes “soft AirPods 3 demand,” alongside speculation that Apple may not release new AirPods this year to be the reason behind the drop. The analyst also claims that the Cupertino-based company is working on ‘AirPods Lite,’ which will likely be a cheaper alternative to the 2nd-gen entry-level AirPods. It’s unclear how much these wireless earbuds will cost.
The move will allow Apple to set its footing in the cheaper wireless earbud market. Specs and other details about the reported ‘AirPods Lite’ are currently unknown. It’s worth noting that if Apple sticks with its previous naming conventions for its cheaper AirPods, they would be called the ‘AirPods SE’ rather than ‘AirPods Lite.’