Apple prepares AirPods Lite, an alternative to much cheaper wireless headphones offered by the competition

Although it has steadfastly refused to release “budget” iPhone models, believing that such a move would irreparably erode its image as a premium brand, Apple seems to be admitting that it is only a small player in the wireless headphone market, developing AirPods Lite as an alternative to the cheaper and roughly equally high-performing wireless headphones offered by the competition.

Apple currently sells four different models of AirPods, from the second-generation AirPods to the advanced AirPods Max. And while AirPods have become quite popular headphones, they’re not exactly cheap. But according to analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong Intl Tech Research, the company is now working on new “AirPods Lite” to compete with cheaper wireless headphones.

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According to information obtained from sources close to the US company, Apple is anticipating a drop in good demand for the AirPods in the new year, with the company trying to address this problem by launching a cheaper version of the product. Specifically, AirPod shipments are expected to drop from 73 million units in 2022 to 63 million in 2023. At the source of this decline would be the lower-than-expected demand for the AirPods 3 series, combined with the fact that Apple does not plan to launch a new generation of AirPods this year.

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Introduced to complement the current product catalog, the AirPods Lite earphones have as their main distinguishing feature a price low enough to compete with non-Apple earphones, and it remains to be seen what compromises this choice will entail on the features side.

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