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(Pocket-lint) - It's long been rumoured that Apple is working on successors to the AirPods and AirPods Pro, but the latest report supports  previous claims we might see them earlier this year than what was initially expected.

According to the report from Digitimes, the AirPods Pro 2 could arrive in the first half of 2021, which ties in with a report from Macotakara that suggested the next-generation of wireless headphones could appear alongside a new iPhone SE in April 2021.

Prior to these reports, it was thought the AirPods Pro 2 and the AirPods 3 wouldn't arrive until the second half of 2021.

The information in the Digitimes report comes from unnamed industry sources claiming flash memory supplier Winbond is expected to be one of the flash suppliers for the next AirPods "slated for launch later in the first half of this year". It went on to say "the Taiwan-based chipmaker will be running its NOR flash production lines at nearly full capacity utilization during the six-month period". 

The AirPods Pro 2 are rumoured to possibly come in two sizes, offer a more rounded and compact shape possibly ditching the stem and it's been suggested they will use Apple's W2 chip. As for the AirPods 3, it's claimed they will move more towards the AirPods Pro design, offering a shorter stem and the replaceable ear tips.

You can read all about the rumours surrounding the AirPods Pro 2 in our separate feature, as well as the rumours surrounding the AirPods 3.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 27 January 2021.