New ‘AirPods 2’ Expected Holiday Season 2019; 3D Touch May be on the Way Out

Most of the attention on Apple’s supply chain is focused on what’s coming right around the corner, but that isn’t stopping some analysts from making predictions on what’s going to happen next year.

AppleInsider is reporting on Monday, after seeing an analyst note from Barclays, that Apple is planning on not only introducing an upgraded product in 2019, but also a cheaper version of what’s already available, and maybe even getting rid of a feature altogether. Quite a few changes in the pipeline, to say the least.

First, new AirPods. According to the analysts, what’s being called “AirPods 2” are currently being slated for a holiday season launch in 2019. New AirPods being designed by Apple is certainly not a new rumor, as we’ve head previously those new units could boast water resistance and noise cancelling features, which may also mean they’ll be priced higher than the current $159.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a smart speaker that isn’t as expensive as the $349 model that is currently on the market, and which may actually have Beats branding. That was originally rumored to launch before the end of 2018, but this report indicates Apple is now leaning towards a launch in 2019.

Finally, 3D Touch. According to the analysts, and based on the supply chain, it is “widely understood” that by the time 2019 rolls around, Apple will be ready to remove 3D Touch from the smartphone lineup altogether. However, the analysts are quick to point out that these plans are not finalized, so that may not come to fruition next year.

Our Take

Nothing too surprising here, even if you discount all the rumors we’ve already heard about Apple’s plans. We know new AirPods are on the way, and a cheaper smart speaker with Siri on board just makes sense — even if the HomePod’s audio quality does justify the price. However, the removal of 3D Touch is an interesting rumor to be sure.

Do you use 3D Touch at all?

[via AppleInsider]