The coronavirus outbreak reportedly delays planned AirPods Pro Lite production

Apple is allegedly working on a new “AirPods Pro Lite” model, but the coronavirus outbreak has reportedly delayed planned second-quarter production of the upcoming earphones.

From DigiTimes’ paywall’d blurb on Tuesday, citing sources from supply chain makers:

Production of an entry-level version of Apple’s AirPods Pro now looks unable to kick off in early second-quarter 2020 as planned due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We’ll update this story when the full DigiTimes report is available.

DigiTimes was first to report earlier this week that a new entry-level AirPods Pro might be in the works. As of this writing, no other publication has reported on this, and we caught zero mentions of “AirPods Pro Lite” in analyst reports. It’s entirely possible that the DigiTimes story is referencing a third-generation version of the regular AirPods rather than a brand-new model.

As a guidance, the ‌current AirPods Pro‌ were released last October while the second-generation model of the regular AirPods arrived in March of last year.

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If there’s such a thing as “AirPods Pro Lite” or some such, we expect it to be priced lower than the current $249 AirPods Pro model and perhaps higher than the second-generation AirPods that cost $159 without the wireless charging case or $199 with the Qi case included.

The coronavirus could, however, delay AirPods Pro Lite and other planned launches.

Indeed, the firm just cautioned investors that it won’t meet its quarterly guidance due to the virus spread in China disrupting iPhone production and causing temporary store closures throughout the 1.4 billion people country. “We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can,” per Apple’s press release yesterday.

In a memo to troops, Tim Cook outlined his company’s response to the virus break, revealing Apple has doubled its donations to help battle the global coronavirus outbreak.