The new AirPods are expected to launch in the third quarter as production progresses

Taiwanese supplier ASE Technology has begun production of optical sensors for next-generation AirPods scheduled for launch in the third quarter of 2021, according to industry sources cited in the paywalled DigiTimes review the story today.

The full report has yet to be released, so there are no further details at this time, but the timeline coincides with information shared by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who earlier this month claimed the third-generation AirPods would go into mass production in the third quarter. The quarter lasts from July to September.

Kuo said earlier that the third generation of AirPods will be released in the first half of 2021, and due to a series of leaked photos and renders, it seemed that the launch was imminent, but it seems that this is no longer the case.

The third-generation AirPods are expected to have a similar design to the AirPods Pro, including shorter stems, but without silicone ear tips or active noise cancellation, which allows for a lower price. The second generation AirPods sells for $ 159 with a wired charging case or $ 199 with a wireless charging case, while the AirPods Pro costs $ 249.

Apple announced the second generation of AirPods in March 2019, and then AirPods Pro in October 2019.