KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Apple Insider are reporting that Apple could be making new wireless over-the-ear headphones following the success of its in-ear AirPods. The new devices may be sold under Apple’s own brand, even though Apple owns the Beats headphone brand, TechCrunch reported.
The new headphones could appeal to consumers who can’t use the AirPods due to the shape of their ears. And, as headphones typically sell for more than earbuds, the devices could retail for more than $159. Apple may sell them in the fourth quarter of 2018 — just in time for the holidays.
Apple may be working with metal injection molding company SZS, according to what Kuo has heard. Still, it’s not clear how the new headphones would compare to Apple’s Beats-branded products. The Beats Solo3 already contains an Apple W1 wireless chip, which is the same chip in the AirPods.
For Apple’s iPhone 7, the 3.5mm headphone jack was removed to free up space and to extend battery life by two hours. As a result, consumers can use Apple’s wireless headphones, which are dubbed AirPods.
The AirPods can be controlled by Siri, Apple’s digital personal assistant. Users can pause a song on an Apple device by double-tapping either headphone or by simply asking Siri. Removing the AirPods from a user’s ears also pauses the playback function. The AirPods are likened to Amazon’s Echo, but are in a form that’s easier to carry around.
For those who don’t want to use AirPods, there’s an alternative: Apple included a dongle for the lightning port for users who would rather use their own, old school 3.5mm-compatible headphones.
According to a 2016 survey, 40 percent of respondents thought AirPods were too expensive; 12 percent of respondents were keen to buy Apple’s AirPods and 8 percent of respondents preferred the Apple Watch Series 2 over AirPods.