With AirPods Pro still shiny and new, Apple is reportedly working with partners to get so-called AirPods Pro Lite earbuds ready for sale. That’s according to a new DigiTimes report.

That report notes that Apple is speaking with Taiwanese supply chain companies in order to get new iPad, iMac, and Apple Watch products ready to be released this year. But it’s the mention of AirPods Pro Lite that really caught our attention.

Apple is apparently keen to find a way to reduce its reliance on China when producing the new earbuds, particularly given the recent coronavirus outbreak that has brought production of other technology to its knees.

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.

Unfortunately, DigiTimes doesn’t say what the AirPods Pro Lite might actually offer, although the name would suggest that they would be less costly than the latest AirPods Pro release.

We’d expect Apple to remove some functionality in order to meet a new, lower price point – it’s possible the impressive active noise cancellation would be on the list of removals.

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