High-end premium headphones have been rumoured to be part of Apple’s 2020 release slate for some time, and new reports in midweek claim that the new accessory will finally launch this summer for $350.
Tech analyst Jon Prosser, who had previously revealed details about a potential new 13-inch MacBook Pro, said that the new headphones with a B515 codename will be unveiled at the virtual WWDC developer conference in early June.
Apple usually focuses on its services and operating systems at the annual get-together, so it seems unlikely that the accessory will first see the light of day during the event.
Since the disruption caused by the coronavirus, Apple has opted for scaled-back unveilings, with a basic press release doing most of the heavy lifting in terms of communication.
However they are launched, the new headphones will carry the Apple brand name but are expected to be very similar to the Beats products that the company already offers.
The Beats Solo Pro, for example, launched in late 2019 with up to 40 hours of wireless usage and ‘Fast Fuel’ rapid charging functionality.
Apple acquired Beats Electronics in a $3bn deal in 2014, and it reportedly has no plans yet to phase out the name despite its plans to launch its first branded over-the-ear headphones.
Insiders believe that the Beats brand remains popular with certain segments who would not otherwise consider purchasing Apple products.
It also continues to support Apple’s healthy wearables segment, which delivered record returns during the last quarter.
Prosser also said on Wednesday that sports-centric AirPods with a neckband will go on sale around September this year with a $200 price tag.
Apple has enjoyed great success with its AirPods range during the last two years, and it wants to follow up the premium AirPods Pro, which offer noise cancellation and water resistance, with a more budget-focused model.
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