After reports last week suggest Apple may be working on a Beats branded pair of truly wireless earbuds, new images discovered in today’s iOS 12.2 update give us a first look at the upcoming product. The images, which were first discovered by 9to5mac, are strikingly similar to the current Powerbeats model with the wire between each ear removed.
Other images in the release of iOS 12.2 show the Siri setup process, as well as the charging case. The case, which is a cross between Apple’s AirPods case and the soft touch shell case for other Beats headphones, would in theory serve to charge the hook-style ear buds when not in use.
The current Powerbeats are a very popular alternative to Apple’s AirPods, offering a more secure fit, thanks to over-ear hooks and adjustable ear tips. They also provide better noise isolation from sounds, making them more functional in louder environments than Apple’s minimal buds.
The previous rumor about the truly wireless earbuds suggested the new product could be released as soon as next month. Given the timing and the update to AirPods last week, it’s quite possible the new Beats would contain Apple’s H1 chip and support the “Hey Siri” feature, as well. According to another on-screen graphics discovered by 9to5mac, “Hey Siri” support is a lock for the Powerbeats Pro, which would support the previous rumor.
Obviously, there’s no details on pricing at this point, since these images were discovered in iOS software, but with the current Powerbeats 3 starting at $200, it seems plausible that these new, fully wireless earbuds, could fetch $250-300. It would also create a pricing shelf between the $160 entry price of AirPods and a more expensive Beats earbud.