YOU'VE GOT TO hand it to Apple: the company is brilliant at getting people to do things they wouldn't have dreamed of doing otherwise. A case in point is AirPods: they were roundly mocked at launch as looking like electric toothbrush heads, and yet three years later everyone has them hanging off the side of their faces as if it wasn't a fundamentally eccentric look.
Now Apple is planning on a "Pro" version, for all you professional music listeners out there. The China Economic Daily reports that AirPods Pro will launch later this month, bringing with them noise cancellation technology and a metal design. Oh, and a higher price tag: the source says they'll cost 8,000 New Taiwan dollars, or around $260. Though knowing Apple, they'll probably give us an exchange rate of one New Taiwan dollar to the pound.
The report says they'll be dangling from your ears like Christmas tree baubles before the year is out, which feels appropriately festive. That timescale feels likely as references to new AirPods have already been spotted in iOS 13.2 - and you can't imagine them making an appearance in OS update unless they were just around the corner.
But just because they're announced and even released this year, doesn't mean they'll be widely available. The original AirPods were in pretty short supply for months after they first became available as Apple just couldn't make ‘em fast enough.
Of course back in 2016, True Wireless headphones were something of a novelty, and now every Silicon Valley Tom, Dick and Harry has their own range of noisy earplugs. This time around, Apple's competition won't just be the Boses, Senheisers and Sonys of this world: the company will have to deal with Google and Microsoft, too.
And Microsoft's Surface Buds work with Microsoft Office, too. That's as close as the company has to bringing out the big guns, so watch out Tim Cook. µ
Hype for HyperThreading
Hey kids, leave them iPhones alone
The Mac lady sings
Babel in yo ear