Apple didn't announce new versions of either the AirPods or AirPods Pro at WWDC in early June. This wasn't a total surprise - last-minute rumours had suggested, correctly, that we wouldn't get any new hardware at all - but plenty of fans were disappointed that their wait for new AirPods would have to go on a little longer.
It does look, however, like new AirPods will arrive in 2021. A new report from DigiTimes (via MacRumors) indicates that at least seven of Apple's suppliers have begun the preliminary stages of production of the third-generation version of the standard AirPods. The report is based on industry sources.
"Suppliers including Semco, LG Innotek, Kinsus, Unimicron, Nan Ya, Zhen Ding and AT&S have all kicked off their BT substrate shipments for Apple's next-generation products including the AirPods," writes DigiTimes.
This is in line with previous information from the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that we can expect the third-generation AirPods to launch this autumn. There's still no news about the next version of the AirPods Pro.
Considering how commercially successful the AirPods have been, it's a little surprising how long we're having to wait for an update. The standard AirPods were last updated in March 2019 (to add the H1 chip, longer talk time and support for "Hey Siri"), while the AirPods Pro came out in October of the same year. Neither product line was updated through the entirety of 2020.
The only AirPods released in 2020, of course, were the AirPods Max. But while they share a brand with the smaller earbuds, they have little else in common.