Budget AirPods and updated AirPods Max could be coming later this year, although don't expect to see them at WWDC 2024

AirPods Pro 2 on a table
(Image credit: iMore)

According to new information from supply chain analyst Jeff Pu, two new pairs of AirPods could be going into production late this year.

Having read a research note penned by Pu for Haitong International Securities, MacRumors claims that “a Foxconn subsidiary will be one of the suppliers of the lower-cost AirPods.” Furthermore, it states that an Indian subsidiary will “ramp up AirPods assembly at a factory in India in the fourth quarter of 2024,” alongside updated AirPods Max in the same timeframe. 

New AirPods, but what of WWDC?

There are reportedly two new pairs of AirPods coming later this year to replace Apple's second and third-gen models. The first, codenamed B768(E) (for entry-level, according to Gurman) are going to get an improved fit and a USB-C charging port. The second pair, B768(M), (or ‘mid-tier) are going to receive the same improvements as the entry model, although they’ll also get noise canceling and Find My functionality in the case. It's unclear if either, both, or neither of these will be dubbed AirPods 4 or fourth-generation as the successor to Apple's AirPods 3.

There’s also some evidence that there’s going to be a new pair of AirPods Max, although what they’re going to feature or look like is anyone’s best guess. It’s more than likely that the AirPods Max 2 are going to be a lighter upgrade than the new, budget AirPods, featuring improvements over their old design rather than a full refresh. That’ll mean a USB-C charging port like Apple's best iPhone, the iPhone 15, improved noise canceling, better sound quality, and, hopefully, a new and improved carrying case. Pu says these will also debut in Q4 of 2024. 

Both Gurman and Pu put the launch of these new AirPods in the latter half of the year, with Gurman directly putting down a September-October launch window. That’s well after the upcoming WWDC 2024 date of June 10-14, so we’ll be waiting for some time before we actually get to see the new AirPods materialize.

What’s coming in WWDC?

macOS 15, iOS 18, and watchOS 11, maybe new Macs — beyond the almost certain OS information, no one is absolutely sure of what is going to rear its head at Apple’s next World Wide Developers Conference. While there was a slim prospect that AirPods could have debuted, that seems to have been quashed by both Pu and Gurman over the last few weeks.

Still, who knows? Maybe we’ll be surprised.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.