According to a recent report (paywalled, but confirmed by MacRumors here) from well-known supply chain analysts DigiTimes, Apple’s new AirPods Studio over the ear headphones have entered production. This comes on the heels of a report from The Information (also paywalled) that Apple will have the new headphones built and assembled in Vietnam as they seek to diversify their supply chain from their dependence on China.
So the obvious $10,000 question is when will they drop. We don’t have any sold leads on that yet, but potential dates can start anytime in the next month. Maybe that’s significant, since WWDC is just a few weeks away now. That is on the leading edge of when we can expect at least an announcement for this new product. If not then, it could come any time from early Summer to the end of the year. However, if production is starting now, a release is likely to come sooner than later.
While a developer’s conference may not be the first venue that comes to mind for a consumer product announcement like this, it wouldn’t be the first time for Apple. They have used the WWDC Keynote to announce new products and product updates on several occasions. Considering that the AirPods Studio is a new device, at least when it come to Apple branded audio devices, and that it is rumored to have new features that we haven’t seen with any previous Beats products, it is certainly possible.
That said, the AirPods Pro also had a new design and new features and were dropped in a simple press release. Considering that we likely won’t see a live Apple event until the Fall for the new iPhone and that we don’t know of any products that are likely to release over the Summer that would warrant another streaming event like the WWDC Keynote, this release will be completely up in the air if it doesn’t hit in June. It’s hard to say with Apple, especially since they started dropping more products in press releases over the last year.
As for me, I’m certainly hoping for an announcement during WWDC, or at least a press release in the lead up to it. Other than the rumored iPad and iPad Air updates, the Apple Watch, and maybe the HomePod 2, there may not be any other Apple product releases between now and the iPhones 12, which are rumored to be running late this year. The AirPods Studio sound like a perfect product to fill in this gap.