Will Apple discontinue AirPods Pro after launching the second-generation model?

Don’t expect the current AirPods Pro to be available at a lower price when the second-generation model launches, according to a revered analyst who says Apple wants to avoid repeating the same mistake as with the non-Pro models.

A photograph showing a top-down view of an AirPods Pro case with the lid open and both earbud in the case
Image credit: Aniket Narula / Unsplash
  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks Apple will pull the original AirPods Pro from sale as soon as the company officially releases their successor.
  • The analyst suggests Apple will want to avoid repeating the same mistake as with the non-Pro models, one which has caused AirPods 3 sales to dissapoint.
  • Shoppers on a budget may be disappointed that the current AirPods Pro won’t be available at a lower price after the second-generation model launches.

AirPods 2 may be discontinued when AirPods 3 launch

The prediction was shared on Ming-Chi Kuo’s Twitter account.

According to the post, Apple has cut orders for the third-generation AirPods model for the second half of this year by as much as thirty percent. Now, this is nothing new, Apple’s suppliers have reported that they saw similar production issues in terms of iPhone sales. The war in Ukraine and the supply issues stemming from the pandemic have obviously contributed to the negative customer sentiment.

Despite that, Kuo is adamant that Apple’s product segmentation strategy with AirPods 2 and 3 has failed because demand for AirPods 3 is “significantly weaker” than that for AirPods 2. Obviosuly, consumers are unwilling to spend an extra $50 for the new selling points of the AirPods 3,  as per Kuo’s follow-up tweet.

For context, AirPods 3 are priced at $179 while the second-generation model costs $129. The AirPods Pro are $249. From Kuo’s vantage piint, Apple might pull the current AirPods Pro from sale after launching the second-generation model in the second half of 2022. Read: Tips for using your AirPods Pro like a pro

Kuo says Apple’s aim is to “avoid repeating the same mistake.”

Why Apple’s segmentation strategy with AirPods has failed

The problem with Apple’s failed “segmentation strategy” when it comes to AirPods: Many buyers pick the more affordable AirPods 2 over the third-generation model.

Apple’s segmentation strategy with AirPods entails offering the previous second-generation model alongside the latest AirPods 3. Apple’s hope is that the approach would lead to increased sales because the company could dangle the more affordable AirPods 2 in front of cash-strapped buyers while offering the latest and greatest AirPods 3 to those who want the latest technology.

But the strategy has backfired. The analyst says buyers are still largely picking the more affordable AirPods 2 rather than AirPods 3, prompting Kuo to call out Apple’s strategy as failed. Read: 20+ things to do and know after buying AirPods