The Verge, citing a source close to the situation, reports that Apple does not plan to announce any new hardware from its Beats subsidiary at its “Gather Round” event at Steve Jobs Theater on Wednesday. The only new headphones expected are an updated pair of AirPods with “Hey Siri” support.
If the report is accurate, that means Apple fans should keep their expectations low for any new Beats headphones, or a lower-priced HomePod rumored to arrive in the form of a Siri-enabled Beats speaker.
Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and since then, the company has routinely refreshed the headphone lineup. However, it has yet to do so in 2018. The current lineup revolves around the Beats Solo3, Powerbeats3, and BeatsX, released in 2016 with Apple’s W1 chip for easy pairing.
Beats also launched Studio3 over-ear headphones with the W1 chip in 2017, followed by urBeats 3 with a Lightning connector, but for the most part, the headphone lineup is nearly two years outdated.
With so many rumored products in Apple’s pipeline through the remainder of this year, it’s not much of a surprise that Beats might not see any stage time at its September event. The keynote is expected to revolve around new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 4 models, new AirPods, and AirPower charging mat availability.
It’s unclear when Beats may be updated next. Apple certainly has enough on its docket for an October event, if it holds new iPad Pro models with Face ID and a wide range of new Macs until then, and perhaps it could fit in some Beats announcements too. Or, a simple press release would do the trick.
One wildcard is rumored Apple-branded, high-end over-ear headphones, which Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said could be released in the fourth quarter of 2018 at the earliest. Apple could certainly unveil the headphones tomorrow, although we’ve heard nothing specific to suggest that might occur.
Apple’s keynote begins Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, at Steve Jobs Theater, situated on its Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California. MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the event, with a live blog starting around 8:15 a.m. Pacific Time, and live tweets via @MacRumorsLive.
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