A new iteration of Apple's wireless AirPods are coming, and no, they are not likely to be bundled with any of its iPhone models (drats!). However, to help justify the added expenditure, the AirPods 2 are rumored to feature built-in health monitoring, though exactly what that entails is not yet known. We may find out next month.
The original rumor points to the second-generation AirPods having "health monitoring functions," which could be just about anything, really. A built-in heart rate monitor is far game, especially with the Apple Watch Series 4 gaining an ECG (electrocardiography) sensor. We're not sure how exactly that would work in the ear, though.
The rumor pointed to a release in the "first half of 2019," but if you're looking for a more specific time frame, Spanish blog Applesfera seems to think Apple will cease sales of its first-gen AirPods on March 28, to make room for "a few" new models.
According to the site's unnamed sources, Apple will follow up its discontinuation of the first-gen AirPods with the release of the AirPods 2 a day later. One of the sources also sent the site a screenshot of a logistics and product stock report showing that the first-gen AirPods will be yanked on on March 28. Taken together along with previous rumors, the Spanish blog is pretty confident in those dates.
We're not so sure—this is not the kind of stuff you would bet the farm on, if you owned a farm and were willing to wager such a thing. But it's at least plausible.
This is all said to be part of an Apple press event, which begs the question of what else the company is planning to unveil. There have been reports of a lower cost iPad and a refreshed iPad Mini on the horizon, which could headline the event.
As for the AirPods, given the price ($159) and rumors of at least one new model around the bend, we suggest waiting to see what transpires, if you're in the market for a set.