Apple Supplier Ramps Up Production of AirPods 2 Parts to Meet High Demand

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 8, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    The manufacturer of rigid-flex printed circuit boards (PCBs) used in Apple's AirPods 2 is ramping up production of the technology into early 2020 at least, despite rumors that Apple will launch two new AirPods models as early as this year with a different internal design.

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    DigiTimes reports that Apple supplier Unitech Printed Circuit Board still sees the rigid-flex PCB combination as the mainstream technology for truly wireless headphones, and will expand its production capacity in Taiwan by 25-30 percent in 2019 to meet increased demand from clients.

    In contrast, Apple's two new AirPods models are expected to make use of SiP (system in package) technology, which will improve assembly yield rates, save internal space and reduce cost.

    Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts that the two new models will likely go into mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.

    Kuo has said one of the new AirPods models will feature an "all-new form factor design" and a "higher price" than the second-generation AirPods, which cost $159 with a standard charging case and $199 with a wireless charging case. The other model is expected to be a more iterative update to AirPods 2 with the same pricing.

    In March 2019, Apple launched its second-generation AirPods powered by an Apple-designed H1 chip, enabling hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality and up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original AirPods. The second-generation AirPods feature the same outward design as the original.

    Bloomberg reported that Apple's third-generation AirPods will feature a new design and perhaps improved water resistance that will allow the AirPods to hold up to "splashes of water and rain."

    The AirPods aren't likely to be entirely water resistant, however, and won't be able to be submerged in liquid. These third-generation AirPods are also rumored to include noise cancellation features and increase the distance that AirPods can be listened to away from an iPhone or iPad.

    Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Google are all actively developing their own truly wireless headphones, many of which are expected to use the older rigid-flex PCB technology. Apple now dominates nearly 70 percent of the truly wireless headphone market, according to DigiTimes, suggesting Apple's adoption of the new SiP tech could give the company an even greater advantage over rivals as the market continues to grow.

    Article Link: Apple Supplier Ramps Up Production of AirPods 2 Parts to Meet High Demand
     
  2. Pepe4life macrumors regular

    Pepe4life

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    #2
    I wonder how people will react when they realize their AirPods are disposable products that only last 2-2.5 years due to poor battery longevity and the cost of replacement is equivalent to buying a whole new pair.
     
  3. rmoliv macrumors 6502a

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  4. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

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    #4
    As people before said "there are no AirPods competitors". Amazing, one of the best products Apple released in a while. Since I got them, I never looked behind. Goodbye, cables.
     
  5. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

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    #5
    I shrugged and bought a new pair the day it was released.
     
  6. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    #6
    If they do last 2-3 years it’s still money well spent..they are incredible to use
     
  7. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #7
    Have you tried breaking down the daily cost of 2-2.5 years of usage? I’m willing to believe AirPods pay for themselves if you consider the excellent battery as it is. I’d say this product is highly successful for everything it’s offering, given the convenience and features included.
     
  8. Toby_95 macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I’m still not sold on them with the average sound quality but if noise cancelling is somewhere down the line that could change my mind
     
  9. PickUrPoison, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

    PickUrPoison macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Lithium-ion batteries have a limited life, unfortunately. There are billions being spent on R&D to make them better, but they degrade with use, which is made even worse with any mistreatment they may be subjected to.

    For people who like AirPods, $5-6 a month seems to be a reasonable cost. When it’s time to buy a new pair, there will probably a better model available, so at least there’s that.
     
  10. Gilligan's last elephant macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I suspect if you use them daily it will be shorter time than that.
     
  11. johnyslats macrumors 6502a

    johnyslats

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    #11
    I fully expect Airpods 2 will continue to be sold alongside Airpods 3 which will most likely come in at an even higher price point
     
  12. Relentless Power, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #12
    There’s no reason for Apple to discontinue the AirPods 2, not when they were just introduced in March, and the AirPods being an accessory, are not updated often. So whenever the AirPods 3 launch, (which I suspect might be this fall as rumored), then by all means, they’ll keep version two as a cheaper option next to more advanced version 3.
     
  13. nikusak macrumors regular

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    #13
    Well just buy AirPods clones whose battery doesn’t degrade at all in 2,5 years and if it does the battery can be easily replaced.

    No? Oh such don’t exist.

    But hey let’s trash Apple anyway! Tim Cook must go!

    If Apple increased AirPods volume by 5x they could contain a bigger multi cell battery and they would last. Maybe they could also add an SD card slot, headphone jack and MagSafe into them?

    New York Times ran a piece a while ago, title was something along the lines “AirPods are great but they don’t last”.

    The author didn’t, however, bother to list a single comparable wireless alternative which does last longer and/or which offers replaceable batteries.
     
  14. err404 macrumors 68020

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    #14
    The only option would be replaceable batteries, but that would make for a larger product and end up being a little bit worse for everyday use.
    Look at Tile as an example. The latest version finally added a replaceable battery, but it is thicker, wider, taller and less durable as a result. Not a good combination for a product that lives in your pocket all the time.
    If I get a solid 2.5 years out of this set (like my original launch pair), I’ll be satisfied.
     
  15. ELman macrumors member

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    #15
    And they will be called AirPods Pro.
     
  16. Lone Deranger macrumors 68000

    Lone Deranger

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    #16
    2-2.5 years? Many buyers are reporting as little as 10-20% play time after just a year of use.

    It’s a Tim Cook product in that regard alright.
     
  17. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #17
    I’m a first GEN Airpod owner from December 2016 when they launched. Now, it would probably be dependent on how frequently someone charges their AirPods, and not let them drain consistently on a regular basis. But I can tell you I still use my first GEN AirPods and I’ve had zero issues with the battery, it’s all about maintenance being a factor.
     
  18. PickUrPoison macrumors 68040

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    #18
    You didn’t read the article, did you?
     
  19. Gilligan's last elephant macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Whilst not in user manual, Galaxy Buds do have a standard battery cell that the user can replace without much difficulty as detailed by iFixit.
    I recently changed gyms and no longer had screens to display my heart rate from the Myzone3 heart monitor. I need to use phone app on phone placed on gym equipment I am using to see heart rate. This made using phone for music on rowing machine and Stairmaster with wired headphones unsafe.
    I don't like earbuds and with daily charging the usable life would only be about 18 months. I found no reasonably priced on ear BT headphones that would match the audio quality or foldability of my Senheisser HD 2.3G phones. Also wanted aptX/aptX HD codec. Most on ear type BT headphones will give a recharge rate of about 6 days with my use, so at least 5 years of battery life.

    I in the end got a tiny FiiO Btr 3 Bluetooth amp which has exceptional audio quality and supports nearly all codecs. I use aptX HD with my Huawei P20 Pro. This gives the benefit of no straying wires to phone whilst exercising and a recharge rate of about 4 to 5 days so about 5 year life. And works with virtually any headphones. FIIO BTR 3 cost £65.

    I find Senheisser True Wireless buds @ £270 and no replaceable battery scandelous with maybe a little over 2 year life.
     
  20. johnyslats macrumors 6502a

    johnyslats

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    #20
    Pretty sure the article's been updated. Could be wrong though
     
  21. cableguy84 macrumors 65816

    cableguy84

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    #21
    Got mine couple weeks ago. So much quicker than the first airpods
     
  22. aylk macrumors regular

    aylk

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    #22
    AirPods were destined to become e-waste from the moment they were manufactured. And AirPods become e-waste after just eighteen months, when the irreplaceable lithium ion battery dies. There is no way to recycle them and they stick around way longer after you die, just for convenience.

    AirPods are trash... literarily.
     
  23. nikusak macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2014
    #23
    Yes, I read the tear down when it was published.

    But unless the manufacturer offers an affordable replacement program (no) and people are aware of it or it’s just as easy as replacing batteries of your TV remote (and no) it doesn’t make any difference.

    I ended up buying AirPods. I love them but I do not love the disposable nature of them.

    Hopefully Apple starts accepting them for recycling sooner rather than later.
     
  24. nburwell macrumors 601

    nburwell

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    DE
    #24
    My OG AirPods are still going strong. Although I need to charge the case more frequently than when I originally purchased them. I suspect I'll be in the market for new AirPods next year. They're such a great product.
     
  25. macduke macrumors G4

    macduke

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    #25
    When I bought AirPods at launch, everyone thought they looked stupid.

    Now they're really popular, I look fine. Weird how that happens.
     

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