Apple’s next AirPods refresh will reportedly happen when Apple also announces the iPhone 13 lineup. If all goes according to previous release cadences, that means we can look forward to new phones and new earbuds in or around September.

According to a new report by the notoriously unreliable DigiTimes, manufacturers of AirPods Pro parts are already working on small orders, while production is set to ramp up in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

Shipments of flexible PCBs (FPCB) and SiP modules for use in the next-generation AirPods have kicked off in small volumes, and will be scaled up between late third-quarter and fourth-quarter 2021, according to industry sources at the upstream supply chain of the AirPods. The sources believe the new AirPods will have a good chance to be debuted at Apple’s product launch in the second half of the year.

Apple’s AirPods haven’t been refreshed since early 20019 and even then it wasn’t a very interesting one.

This AirPods 3 refresh is expected to bring with it a design change, making Apple’s mid-range earbuds look more like the premium AirPods Pro.

Despite the change in looks, we don’t expect the new AirPods to borrow any features from the AirPods Pro, likely in order to make sure they meet the lower price point.

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