It's been a long wait for new AirPods earbuds, with no announcements since 2019. And while we may yet get an update to the standard AirPods in 2021, it looks like the wait will go on for those who want a new version of the more expensive AirPods Pro.

The renowned and generally reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the next generation of AirPods Pro will arrive in 2022.

In his investor note, seen by AppleInsider, Kuo does not mention any specific spec upgrades, design changes or new features in the headphones, but previous rumours have pointed to Apple integrating more advanced motion sensors in the next set of AirPods Pro. You can read all the latest rumours in our new AirPods hub.

Kuo does expound, however, on how he sees Apple's headphones strategy evolving over the coming years. The way it handles its two headphone brands, AirPods and Beats, will become even more important in the future, he argues, because the company wants to reach more Android users with its Beats series.

"AirPods are higher priced, target Apple device users, and aim to provide innovation and eco-experience to increase added value," Kuo writes. "Beats are lower priced, target [both] Apple and non-Apple device users, and increase shipments or market share."

As previously reported, the next standard AirPods are expected to be released in the autumn of this year, after disappointingly failing to appear at WWDC earlier this month.

If you can't wait until autumn for new AirPods, or until 2022 for new AirPods Pro, grab a bargain on the current models with our roundup of the best AirPods deals.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation and additional reporting by David Price.