The past month has revealed a lot about the potential for wireless, over-ear headphones from Apple. Based on the evidence, it seems likely that the Apple Airpods X — if that’s what they end up being called — will be out later this year. A lot of the product’s details are still up for speculation.
Here’s What’s Happened
A mysterious product popped up on Target’s inventory called “Apple Airpods (X Generation)” for $399 towards the end of February. That price point alone convinced people that they were about to see Apple’s first wireless over-ear headphones. Three product codes indicated three possible colorways.
The listing quickly disappeared from the site, and little has been confirmed by Target or Apple. It was confirmed by Target employees that companies often send ghost listings over to Target in preparation for product releases. Sometimes they do so as early as a month before the drop date.
Then, about a week and a half ago, code from Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 was leaked. Black and white glyphs of padded, over-ear headphones were represented in the code as icons for battery and charging widgets. The new icons definitely hint at a new type of product that’s going to be connected to your other Apple devices.
Some speculate that the two glyph colors indicate colorways for the headphones. I believe that the black and white accounts for display differences between dark and light mode within iOS. Regardless, the leak definitely makes the Apple Airpods X feel more real.
What Are We Waiting For?
Branding new over-ear headphones under the Apple logo (as opposed to releasing new Beats headphones) would certainly be an interesting move from the tech giant. At $399, using Apple brand could allow them market the Airpods X as higher-end alternatives to the Beats.
It’s expected that Apple is going to announce the new headphones by Summer 2020. That timing would align the announcement with the release of Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus. This is all on the heels of the 2nd generation of Airpods coming out, including the $249 Airpods Pro.
Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer’s Conference) kicks off in June. Hopefully we’ll know more then. The COVID-19 outbreak has thrown a lot up in the air, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it also delays something like the announcement of a completely new Apple product. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled until something happens.