Yesterday, Kuo released his roadmap for Apple’s ARM Mac transition, which is set to be officially announced in just a few hours. And today, the TF Securities analyst continues his reporting with an update on AirPods.

Kuo believes that Apple will continue to sell second-generation AirPods through this year’s holiday season. The company will replace them with AirPods 3 in the first half of 2021. Kuo describes the AirPods 3 as featuring a new form factor design “similar to AirPods Pro”.

The second-gen AirPods were released in March 2019, featuring always-listening Hey Siri voice activation and a Qi wireless charging case option. However, the buds themselves looked the same as the original AirPods.

Apple debuted AirPods Pro in October, featuring noise cancelling accommodated by an in-ear design with shorter stems on the buds. Kuo does not say in what ways AirPods 3 will look similar to the Pros. It seems unlikely Apple would shift its entire line to the in-ear style, but the current AirPods earbuds could benefit from the sleeker stem form factor … which would bring them in line with the looks of the Pros.

Kuo reiterates his previous report that Apple will stop shipping wired earbuds in the iPhone 12 box, which will help boost demand for AirPods in the process. Although Kuo believes growth in AirPods sales slumped during the second quarter amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, he remains optimistic about AirPods’ sales performance through the end of the year.

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Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.