You might not think Apple is a headphone company, but it makes simple earbuds, the wireless AirPods and AirPods Pro, and it owns Beats. Now, it looks like it might launch yet another headphone product, rounding out its growing portfolio.
9to5Mac spotted two icons representing light and dark versions of Apple’s high-end headphones in leaked iOS 14 code. Several Apple and Beats headphones - including the AirPods Pro, PowerBeats Pro, and upcoming PowerBeats 4 - have leaked like this in the past. To be clear, these upcoming headphones are expected to use Apple's branding, not Beats, and will be very premium.
Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was the first to claim Apple is working on a pair of premium over-ear headphones. He even described them "as convenient as AirPods with better sound quality", which makes us wonder if they will feature Apple's W1 chip that's also found in the AirPods. They reportedly might also offer a simple pairing process and auto-pause for when you remove them.
As for those newly leaked headphone icons, they're actually glyphs that Apple uses to indicate battery and volume levels for connected headphones in iOS and iPadOS. 9to5Mac discovered both light and dark icons, meaning Apple could offer two colour options for its new headphones.
Currently, the AirPods and AirPods Pro are only available in white.
Otherwise, the icons don't reveal too much. 9to5Mac said the iOS 14 code is from December and noted that software isn't expected to launch until autumn. Perhaps we will see Apple's headphones debut alongside the next iPhone.
Keep in mind Bloomberg recently claimed Apple is targeting the "second half" of 2020 for a potential release date.