Even in the age of the Apple Watch which only plays music over Bluetooth, Apple has yet to produce any Apple-branded wireless headphones or earbuds, instead promoting Beats-branded earbud and headphone designs created before Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of that company last year. A new report from MacRumors suggests that could soon change, however, as it’s believed Apple may have applied for “AirPods” trademark under an alias company name.
If the trademark application indeed traces back to Apple, AirPods suggest a wireless version of the Apple-branded EarPod earbuds introduced in 2012. Apple’s current in-house solution for wireless earbuds, Beats Powerbeats 2, carry a premium $199 price and have an aggressive sport look, leaving room for a more neutral Apple-designed product in the future.
MacRumors believes that the company listed on the AirPods trademark application, Entertainment in Flight LLC, is an Apple shell company due to its lack of any other activity, use of a Gmail address for contact information, and a priority date request for trademarking in Jamaica where online records aren’t available, activity which it says is typical of Apple when using shell companies to hide upcoming products.
The possible AirPod wireless earbuds adds to the list of potential upcoming but unannounced products including an updated Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 using Bluetooth LE 4.2 as we reported earlier this year. Although those products had an early 2016 date attached to them, FCC documents suggest they may be further along than possible wireless earbuds from Apple.