The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods through a Newsroom update and website refresh.
Miani, who we reached out to, said that new AirPods could be announced on May 18 via a press release that could also include a ‘Apple Music HiFi’ debut
In 2019, Apple released the all-new AirPods Pro via a press release on its website, so while it seems plausible, the information should be taken with a grain of salt. The new AirPods are expected to feature an updated design that’s more in-line with the design of the AirPods Pro but lacking in “Pro” features such as Active Noise Cancellation.
The new AirPods will be the first major update to the standard AirPods following a slight refresh in 2019 which featured wireless charging, Hey Siri support, and improved battery life. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that the new AirPods would entire mass production in the third quarter of this year.
Alongside the new third-generation AirPods, Apple plans to announce a brand new HiFi or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, according to the new rumor. A report earlier this month indicated that Apple plans to begin offering Apple Music subscribers higher quality streaming with a new subscription tier in the “coming weeks.”
According to that report, the tier will cost the same $9.99 as the current individual Apple Music package. Still, specifics around how Apple plans to include HiFi music streaming into its existing tiers remain unknown. Code within the first beta of the upcoming iOS 14.6 update found by MacRumors suggests that HiFi Apple Music streaming could be limited to only compatible hardware.
While the source for the HiFi Apple Music report pinned a launch of the new tier and AirPods as being only a few weeks away, it may have been referring to a launch at WWDC. Apple will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference beginning on June 7 where it is expected to announce brand new updates to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Despite WWDC being software-focused, hardware announcements at the event are certainly possible.