In addition to three or four new iPhones, a couple of upgraded iPad Pros with Face ID support, a revised MacBook lineup and a largely mysterious Apple Watch Series 4, several improved AirPods variants and entirely new “studio-quality” over-ear Apple headphones are reportedly in the pipeline.
Of course, it remains to be seen what kind of enthusiasm those refreshed AirPods will be able to generate this fall with a significantly higher-end model also around the corner. In line with previous gossip, Bloomberg expects hands-free Siri assistance and a “new chip” to be offered by the end of 2018, with enhanced noise cancellation and water resistance then added at some point next year.
Before you get too excited, you may want to keep in mind Apple is not aiming for full-on swim protection… just yet, instead planning to safeguard 2019’s premium, higher-priced AirPods against rain and perspiration.
Further down the line, various biometric sensors could also greatly enhance the capabilities of the AirPods family, monitoring your heart rate, for instance, without the need for a phone or watch nearby.
Meanwhile, those over-ear headphones expected out “as early as next year” were reportedly planned for a 2018 debut before hitting some sort of a development snag. Described as a “higher-end alternative to the company’s Beats line”, the no doubt costly Apple-branded audio accessories should compete against similarly premium Bose or Sennheiser products.
Last but not least, Bloomberg’s latest report also mentions a “new version of the HomePod” slated for a launch “as early as next year.” But the reputable news agency’s typically rock-solid inside sources have no concrete information to share about the upgraded smart speaker. There’s also no word on a prospective lower-cost “Beats HomePod”, which could literally mean anything.