Rumored AirPods Lite could bring Apple magic to a lower price point
According to a new report, Apple could be getting ready to enter the budget wireless earbuds market.
With most of Apple’s AirPods products living towards the higher end of the market, analyst Jeff Pu has reportedly claimed that Apple is ready to enter the budget arena to compete with the low-cost earbuds that undercut its AirPods 2 and AirPods 3 earbuds.
The new earbuds, dubbed AirPods Lite, would likely need to be considerably cheaper than anything Apple’s audio strategy offers today, with the AirPods 2 currently selling for around $129. The newer AirPods 3 sell for about $169.
A budget option
In a research note seen by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), Pu cites industry sources when saying that the AirPods Lite earbuds are expected to arrive when demand for Apple’s earbuds drops at some point in 2023. It’s thought that Apple shifted around 73 million AirPods in 2022, with that number now likely to fall to around the 63 million unit mark.
With that in mind, Pu believes that Apple’s answer to slower demand will be to enter the budget market. However, how budget the earbuds would be remains to be seen. Apple will likely still need to include its silicon to allow for quick device pairing and switching, although removing it would surely allow for a lower price point.
With AirPods 2 selling for $129, Apple would surely need to hit the sub-$100 mark to make AirPods Lite worthwhile. However, it’s also possible the company could choose to reduce the price of AirPods 2 to make them more attractive to buyers on a tighter budget.