(Pocket-lint) - Apple just announced its new iPhone 11 series, and at the event, many people expected to hear more about a refresh to AirPods 2. However, Apple never mentioned AirPods 3, leaving many to wonder if they're actually in the works. Well, a new leak suggests they do exist.

Apple announced the second generation of its wireless earbuds, the so-called AirPods 2, in March. They feature a new chip, Hey Siri control, 50 per cent more talk time, and an optional wireless charging case. Apple is reportedly working on a future version of AirPods that will get noise cancellation and water resistance. The AirPods 3, as we call them, were initially rumoured to appear later this year.

Now, SlashLeaks has shared an image from contributor Leakspinner that reportedly shows AirPods 3 in the wild. We can see what appears to be a smaller AirPods case sitting on a smartphone. No other details were provided, although Leakspinner described the AirPods pictured as a prototype.


It's likely AirPods 3 will appear in 2020, as they failed to appear during Apple's iPhone 11 launch event in September. In truth though, vague leaks and conflicting reports make things a little hazy. And there are claims of two new AirPods models, to muddy waters further.

For more about AirPods 3, including a complete roundup of all the leaks and reports, go here.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.