The next AirPods are apparently ready to ship as Apple preps to discontinue AirPods 2

The third-generation regular AirPods are apparently “ready to ship” and will launch probably later this month. And when they arrive, the second-generation model will be discontinued.


  • AirPods 3 could launch in March.
  • The previous model will be phased out.
  • The next iPad Pro is coming soon, too.

iPhone Product Red back AirPods white

The new AirPods coming soon?

That’s according to a post on the Chinese social media website Weibo by the user “Kang”.

Based on rumors as well as leaked photographs and CAD renderings, the AirPods 3 should adopt an AirPods Pro-style design with a shorter stem and replaceable silicone ear tips. Active noise cancellation isn’t expected to be supported on the third-generation AirPods, however.

Tips for using your AirPods like a pro

As MacRumors observes, this account has a strong track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s future moves—they previously provided accurate details about unreleased Apple devices such as the iPhone 12, Apple Watch Series 6, iPad Air 4, HomePod mini and more.

An exclusive feature for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro

“Kang” also speculated that the next iPad Pro could provide at least one exclusive feature on the 12.9-inch model compared to its 11-inch counterpart.

The account doesn’t suggest just what that feature might be, but we can make an educated guess based on prior reports: an enhanced Retina display with a mini-LED backlight. As a result, the next 12.9-inch iPad Pro should bring some of the OLED benefits such as high contrast, deep blacks and more via thousands of local dimming zones enabled by tiny LEDs.

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The rumor-mill has so far called for other hardware improvements on the next iPad Pro, including 5G cellular networking, a new, much faster Apple-designed chip and more.

When can I expect the new AirPods?

As for when the next AirPods and iPad Pro might launch, “Kang” previously hinted that Apple plans to introduce new products via a prerecorded presentation that he claims will take place on Tuesday, March 23. The virtual event could also serve as a launchpad for the AirTags, Apple’s rumored personal item trackers that will feature integration with the Find My app.

Lastly, Apple should release new Spring-themed Apple Watch bands soon.

What else will Apple release?

Apple is also expected to update other products this year.

A new Apple TV with updated hardware, beefier graphics and possibly an Apple-designed gaming controller has apparently been in the works. It allegedly should have dropped last year but got delayed into the first quarter of 2021 due to the current COVID pandemic.

iDownloadBlog has also been tracking new Apple silicon hardware said to be coming down the pike later this year, including two new MacBook notebooks, a redesigned iMac all-none desktop, a half-size Mac Pro workstation and more.

Image credit: Omid Armin on Unsplash CC