Apple’s AirPods 3 Might Switch to SiP Technology – Paving the Way for a Smaller Form-Factor & More Advanced Features

By Novak Bozovic / July 7, 2020

Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro have proven to be a significant success for the company. Even though we don’t expect a new version of these wireless earbuds in 2020, it looks like Apple is already working hard on developing its next-gen entry-level AirPods. The latest report comes from Ming-Chi Kuo, known for his expert analysis of Apple’s ecosystem and credible predictions. The analyst believes that major changes are coming to AirPods in 2021, both in terms of the product’s design and features.

As reported by AppleInsider, Kuo says that Apple will stop using surface mount technology, which has dictated AirPods’ appearance ever since these earbuds came out in 2016. Instead, the company will transition to a more complex system-in-package chip solution, paving the way for a future redesign of the product.

In general, SiP systems allow manufacturers to pack components in a smaller space, which results in a smaller form-factor. For example, Apple’s AirPods Pro already employs this system powered by the company’s H1 chip in charge of audio connectivity, Siri commands, noise-canceling capabilities, and more. And later this year, AirPods Pro will also get an all-new audio switching and spatial audio support.

As a reminder, Kuo said earlier this year that Apple is looking for a way to update their entry-level AirPods in an obvious way, including a hardware redesign. There were also talks about AirPods 3 using ambient light sensors and bio-measurements. All of this information goes hand-in-hand with reports of the iPhone 12 coming without (wired) EarPods in the packaging. Naturally, we can deduct that Apple is looking for a way to make its AirPods more attractive to users by offering high-end features and more sophisticated design while sticking to the product’s current price (or perhaps lowering the cost a bit).

Finally, Kup expects that overall AirPods shipments will reach a 65% growth rate in 2020, and then slow down in 2021, growing 28% year-over-year. Perhaps Apple shares these predictions as well, which might be one of the reasons why we probably won’t see EarPods coming bundled with this year’s iPhone lineup.

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