December 7, 2023

Apple will reportedly unveil new AirPods fashions subsequent 12 months, which I’m going to seek advice from because the AirPods 4 household. Sure, that’s plural as a result of Apple will supposedly exchange the AirPods 2 and AirPods 3 fashions in its present stock with two wi-fi earphones that can promote for across the similar costs.

The extra money you’re keen to pay, the higher the AirPods expertise you’ll get. We’ve already defined why the rumored AirPods 4 technique is annoying. Relatively than going for an easier AirPods household, Apple will complicate issues in an try to supply its earbuds at varied value factors. It’ll proceed to be troublesome to decide on between the absolute best expertise (AirPods Professional) and a mannequin that’s extra budget-friendly.

That’s not essentially a problem for me, as I’m in search of one thing else from the AirPods 4 mannequin I’ll inevitably get. I would like an AirPods redesign that makes it potential for Apple to simply exchange the battery.

Nevertheless, I don’t suppose Apple is prepared — or keen — to make that occur.

The issue I’ve with the AirPods and every other wi-fi earphones is that I’ve to maintain shopping for new ones each few years. Relatively than Apple (and different distributors) changing the degraded batteries with recent ones, all of us must buy new {hardware} again and again.

Batteries, after all, proceed to age ungracefully. A number of years after your buy, the AirPods won’t maintain an honest sufficient cost, and also you’ll need them to be repaired. Apple can do it for you, nevertheless it fees you a payment to switch the buds and/or the case. Another choice is a reduction on shopping for brand-new AirPods. Bizarrely, the second selection is the extra reasonably priced one.

In both case, you’re basically paying for a brand new pair of AirPods when the outdated mannequin may’ve stored working simply positive. It’s one factor to improve to new AirPods Professional and Max variations due to the superior sound, noise cancelation algorithms, and different options. However not all consumers need to do this. And the AirPods Professional will finally want changing for a similar cause.

DIY clear AirPods Professional case design. Picture supply: YouTube

As I defined prior to now, the AirPods unibody design makes battery alternative inconceivable. And Apple hasn’t discovered a greater technique to manufacture the AirPods.

The AirPods 4 fashions will reportedly look so much just like the AirPods 3 and AirPods Professional. They’ll function smaller stems and no replaceable suggestions, if the rumors are correct. The report didn’t say something about repairability. That makes me suppose Apple can’t ship such a design. Or it doesn’t need to.

In any case, it’s extra profitable for the corporate to promote the identical buyer a brand new pair of AirPods each 2-3 years, slightly than changing batteries for a decrease payment.

Then once more, these are early rumors. And leakers don’t at all times get the total image. Apple may very effectively find yourself shocking us. Perhaps Mom Nature can present up once more and maintain a gathering with Tim Prepare dinner & Co. about AirPods sustainability.

On the very least, Apple may make the AirPods case simpler to disassemble for battery replacements. You already know, child steps.

There’s one engineer in Switzerland who made an AirPods Professional case with USB-C earlier than Apple did. He additionally created a case you can service your self. And he made a clear AirPods Professional case model, as seen within the picture above.

It might sound unreasonable to count on Apple to repair this AirPods downside within the instant future. However I don’t need solely Apple to give you AirPods designs that might assist straightforward battery replacements. Each Apple rival ought to do it with their AirPods alternate options.

However Apple began this complete factor. It launched the AirPods alongside the iPhone 7, after which each smartphone vendor within the business got here up with their very own model. Apple will even must be on the forefront of this endeavor, by making AirPods repairable.