It apparently won’t fall under Apple’s Beats brand.
Since acquiring Beats in 2014, Apple has been taking its audio products a lot more seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the company is reportedly planning to launch a pair of high-end over-ear headphones some time this year.
Take note, however, that this won’t be just another Beats release. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, who’s been known to have accurate insider scoops on upcoming Apple products, reports that these new premium headphones will fall directly under the Apple umbrella.
Upgrading from AirPods
At the moment, AirPods, EarPods, and the HomePod are the only audio products Apple sells under its own banner. Visiting the company’s official accessories page will bring up a bunch of Beats products that outnumber the home-grown Apple devices.
Unfortunately, Kuo couldn’t provide any more details aside from these headphones being premium and wireless. As for its release date, he expects Apple to make a move within the first half of this year.
As for its release date, he expects Apple to make a move within the first half of this year.
Analysts had similar reports in the past, claiming that Apple was looking into an upgrade for its popular line of wireless earbuds. Instead, we saw the AirPods Pro and updated AirPods last year, which are incremental upgrades to the original AirPods from late 2016.
Reasons for the delay revolve around “development challenges” and the need to deliver a product that competes well against the likes of Sennheiser and Bose’s best. Apple is known for purposely pushing dates in favor of scouting the landscape first and manufacturing a gadget that’s up to its standards.
Bolstering an Already-successful Business
With the runaway success of Apple’s AirPods line, it seems only natural for the Cupertino-based company to release more audio-centric accessories. In addition, the brand’s latest iPhones no longer offer a physical audio port, making the jump to true wireless all the more necessary.
By introducing premium over-ear headphones — with or without active noise canceling — Apple may attract a whole new market that’s been longing for a more serious audio accessory to pair with their iPhones.
The only concern is how these headphones would cannibalize the offerings of its Beats subsidiary. There would have to be a distinct difference, similar to how the Powerbeats Pro separate themselves from the AirPods Pro.