‘AirPods 3’ could bring big design changes this year

AirPods 2 with box on desk
You might want to hold onto your cash.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple’s third-generation AirPods could bring big internal design changes, according to a new report.

Supply chain sources claim Apple will switch to system-in-package (SiP) technology that frees up space inside each bud. The move could allow other components to be squeezed inside.

Apple rolled out its second-generation AirPods in late March. The new models promise better battery life, “Hey Siri” support, and even faster connectivity for the same $179. But they’re not drastically different to their predecessors.

The next AirPods upgrade could bring bigger changes later this year.

AirPods 3 set for big changes under the hood

Citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, Digitimes reports that “AirPods 3” could feature “a brand-new internal design adopting SiP (system in package) technology instead of rigid-flex board combination.”

The change could allow Apple to free up space inside each AirPod to allow for new components. A SiP could also improve battery life even further by marrying AirPods’ chips even more closely, and cut down on component costs and production times.

The sources don’t offer a reason for the move, and there’s no mention of any external design changes, either. However, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously predicted that at least one set of 2019 AirPods will ship with a new form factor.

The third-generation upgrade may also bring noise-cancelation technology.

AirPods 2 aren’t going anywhere

This doesn’t mean Apple’s second-generation AirPods will suffer a premature death. The sources indicate that they will stick around with a cheaper price tag.

These claims are backed up by increased orders for rigid-flex PCBs from Unitech Printed Circuit Board — the supplier of boards for second-generation AirPods. The company expects “robust demand” for its components into 2020, and is moving to expand its production capacity by 25-30% this year.

This article was originally posted here