The largest market share in the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) segment in Q3 2022 belongs to Apple, thanks to a multitude of AirPods models available at different prices. Even then, one report states that a pair of AirPods Lite is being prepped to provide an even more affordable solution to the masses and bring some heated competition.
Currently, Apple’s cheapest AirPods offering is the second-generation version, which is being sold for $129
AirPods Lite rumors have been traversing for a couple of years, with our last report stating that the pair of wireless earbuds will arrive with coin-shaped batteries. Though the rumor’s fire has been extinguished for a while, analyst Jeff Pu from Haitong International Securities wants to light it up and pour more gasoline, according to a research note seen by 9to5Mac. Pu says these will target the price-competitive market, as the least expensive in-ear product sold by Apple is the second-generation AirPods at $129.
After that, we have the AirPods 3 at $169. Looking at these prices, we can assume that the AirPods Lite would launch for less than $129. However, second-generation AirPods are often going for as low as $99.99 and touching $79.99 in some rare instances, so it is unclear what price Apple wants to target the AirPods Lite at, assuming these even launch in the first place. Given that Apple is a premium brand that provides high-end goods, we do not know what kind of features will be cut from this product when it officially arrives.
To bring its manufacturing cost down, the least Apple could do is re-use the AirPods 3 design while phasing out the second-generation AirPods. To price it below $129, the AirPods Lite cannot have features like Active Noise Cancellation, Spatial Audio, MagSafe charging, or any IP rating. However, it must continue sporting Apple’s custom H1 since we feel that was the entire product lineup’s primary selling point and allows for seamless pairing with an iPhone or iPad.
It is also possible that Apple cancels the AirPods Lite development, as it may feel that the product lacks quality due to extensive cost-cutting and does not provide enough value. In any case, if we hear more about these wireless earbuds, we will inform our readers accordingly.