Apple Reportedly Developing AirPods Pro Lite Earbuds For Mass Market Appeal
If you are in the market of set of Apple's AirPods Pro earbuds, you're looking at spending $249, a premium price for sure. The non-Pro models run $159 with charging case, or $199 with a wireless charging case. A cheaper version might be around the corner, ago, according to the latest unconfirmed chatter.
It's said Apple is working on an AirPods Pro Lite variant. Depending on where pricing lands, and what features get stripped for a cheaper price tag, an AirPods Pro Lite SKU could have mass appeal. No information on potential pricing is available, however, so we are left to guess where the new earbuds could end up.
The rumor comes from a Digitimes report that is mainly focused on Apple shifting some assembly orders to factories in Taiwan. Apparently Apple is looking to "diversify production risks associated with the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak." However, the report also specifically mentions an AirPods Pro Lite product, albeit with much detail.
"Apple, maintaining partnerships with supply chains in both Taiwan and China, may have its Taiwanese partners handle more production of new-generation iPad, Apple Watch, AirPod Pro Lite, and iMac devices to be released later, as the epidemic has raised risks of raw materials supply shortages and shipments disruptions arising from uncertain resumption of normal operations at components suppliers and assembly plants in China, the sources said," the report states.
The AirPods Pro is a relatively new product, having launched just a few months ago in October 2019. They offer active noise cancellation technology, three different ear tip sizes, and up to 5 hours of listening time (or 4.5 hours with active noise cancellation enabled). It also comes with a charging case, and if you factor in the built-in battery, Apple claims the AirPods Pro can last up to 24 hours per charge before needing to hunt down a wall outlet.
It's not clear what an AirPods Pro Lite would consist of, in terms of the features. Axing the noise cancelling technology seems logical, though would it still be deserving or the "Pro" moniker? And would the earbuds be priced cheaper than non-Pro models that are available? Answers to those questions will have to wait for another day.