After the stupendous success of wireless hearables, AirPods in 2019, Apple is all set to expand its wireless earphones line of business. Digitimes has confirmed that the Tech Giant Apple is working with its supply chain partners on releasing budget aka ‘Lite’ version of AirPods Pro. This will be in line with the business of iMacs, iPads, and Apple Watches.
Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic, Apple is pondering over the idea of shifting its production line from China to Taiwan. This is for the new launches of 2020 so that the production risks can be mitigated.
“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,” reported by DigiTimes
The launch of the budget Airpods Pro-Lite variant is targeted by mid-2020. But with the outbreak of coronavirus, there might be a change in the launch schedule. If and when the Lite version gets released, the AirPods will be split into three price segments. The price of the budget version of AirPods is expected to fall between the standard AirPods 2 and the high-end Pro. The retail price of AirPods 2 is $159 (Rs.11,430) and the Pro model costs $249 (Rs.17,900).
Apple is reportedly in talks with its Taiwanese supply chain partner, Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) for the Lite version. But the name is yet not final. Technology in the discussion is a system-in-package (SiP) chip constriction which is supplied by Taiwan’s Nan Ya PCB and Kinsus Interconnect. If the talks go as per plans, then the suppliers will be joining the supply chain of Apple.
Apple has not officially confirmed its wireless earphones’ product pipeline. But will have to wait for more information in the coming days on the third generation of the regular AirPods. The second-generation of AirPod was launched in early 2019 followed up by a Pro version in October.