APPLE IS REPORTEDLY PLANNING to unveil 'higher-end' AirPods and a new HomePod speaker in early 2019.
So says Bloomberg, which reports that an upgraded version of Apple's AirPods - the firm's toothbrush-head-alike wireless earphones - will arrive next year with added noise cancellation and a longer wireless range. They won't be waterproof, the report notes, but they will offer better protection from rain and sweat.
Additionally, the third-generation AirPods - set to launch after this autumn's expected second-generation update with a new wireless chip and 'Hey, Siri' support - will likely cost "more than the existing £159 pair", and could come with new biometric sensors such as a heart-rate monitor.
The report adds that Apple's long-awaited wireless charging case for the AirPods will likely debut later this year, potentially alongside the AirPower charging mat.
A new HomePod is also coming in early 2019, according to Bloomberg's sources, although it's unclear how it'll differ from the current, er, unpopular model. Recent rumours claimed, however, that Apple could be planning a more affordable, Beats-branded speaker, in a bid to help it boost its share of the market from just six per cent.
While we don't know much about the second-gen HomePod, the sources note that Apple could be looking to expand its partnership with Foxconn, which mainly helps manufacture the iPhone, and simultaneously lessen its reliance on Inventec, which helped supply AirPods and HomePod.
And continuing its push into audio, Apple is also continuing to work on a paid of "studio quality" over-ear headphones that will be released under the Apple brand rather than Beats. Bloomberg described the device as a "higher-end alternative to the company's Beats line," but otherwise didn't give any new details on features that could be coming to the headphones.
While earlier rumours claimed the headphones launch in 2018, Bloomberg notes that "development challenges" have pushed them into 2019. µ
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It's the U2 debacle all over again