Apple to launch first-ever '£399 over-ear headphones' next month, insiders claim

APPLE is gearing up to release its first pair of over-ear headphones, insiders claim.

Out as early as next month, the gadget will apparently come in three colours and cost as much as £399.

Apple has never released a pair of headphones despite the recent success of its wireless ear buds, the AirPods.

The company owns top-end audio firm Beats By Dre and tends to leave the headphones market to them.

Now it appears Apple headphones are on the way after listings for the gadget reportedly appeared on the database of a major US retailer.

The alleged listing at Target, spotted by tech YouTuber Jon Prosser, shows a product called the "Apple AirPods (X Generation)", with a price of $399.

If the listing is real, we can expect Apple to release the headphones in the UK for around £399. That's because Apple often mirrors the price of its gadgets across the Atlantic.

The listings were allegedly spotted by Target employees on product databases at their stores and passed on to Prosser.

"I'm thinking 'Apple AirPods (X Generation)' is just a placeholder name in their system until the real thing is announced," Prosser said.

"But… 'AirPods X' would be pretty cool".

He noted that there were three separate listings for the headphones, suggesting three colour options.

"Space grey, white, gold?" Prosser speculated.

Speaking to Apple Insider, an unnamed insider at Target reportedly suggested the headphones could release as early as next week.

They said products with placeholder listings generally ship within a month, sometimes sooner.

Why is Siri called Siri?

Here's the origin story of Apple's AI assistant…

  • Although the virtual Siri assistant lives on every iPhone, it wasn't actually created by Apple.
  • It was actually a spin-off project from the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center.
  • The tech was eventually bought up by Apple for the iPhone, but Apple had no say over the name.
  • No one has ever revealed who came up with Siri, but we do know why it was chosen.
  • Siri co-creator Adam Cheyer said the name Siri was picked because it's "easy to remember, short to type, comfortable to pronounce, and a not-too-common human name".
  • Writing in Forbes, he said: "Once Siri became the leading candidate, everyone on the team had their own favourite explanation of the meaning.
  • "Dag Kittlaus, our Norwegian-American CEO, once considered using Siri as the name of his child and liked the Norse meaning 'beautiful woman who leads you to victory'.
  • "For me, Siri, which means 'secret' in Swahili, was a tip of the hat to our pre-named days when we began as
  • "I also liked the fact that it was the reverse of Iris, a software system I helped build as part of the CALO project which Siri was spun out of.
  • "Some liked the resemblance to SRI, which was the research institute that ran the CALO project."
  • In any case, no one at the team expected Apple to actually keep the name – but Siri lived on.

Apple is expected to host a product launch event at the end of March, where the headphones could be unveiled.

The company has not officially confirmed it's making any headphones, so take the rumours with a pinch of salt for now.

If they do exist, the "AirPods X" will likely launch alongside Apple's hotly-anticipated new mobile, the iPhone 9.

It's an alleged budget iPhone due out in March as a followup to 2016's hugely popular iPhone SE.

According to various rumours, the stripped-back phone will have a 4.7in screen and will not resemble last year's iPhone 11 series one bit.

Instead, the iPhone 9 will look more like the iPhones of old, with a home button and a significant "chin" and "forehead" of bezel above and below the display.

Apple has not confirmed any iPhone release for March publicly.

In other news, Apple may preparing to launch four new iPhone 12 models later this year.

The iPhone 12 could be the thinnest ever thanks to new screen technology.

And the new phone could also see through mist and fog thanks to rumoured 'Spectral Edge' camera integration.

Would you be tempted by Apple headphones? Let us know in the comments!

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