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Apple AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18?

Is May 18th going to be D-Day for the new HiFi Apple Music tier and the 3rd generation Apple AirPods? The streaming gods want to know.

Apple Music Screenshot in MacBook 2021

Update (May 17, 2021): Apple Announces Apple Music Lossless at No Extra Charge

There is now a new rumor suggesting that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website.

Is Apple about to finally do the unthinkable and launch a 16-bit/44.1kHz lossless streaming service? Apple’s alternative to Spotify HiFi might become a reality for consumers to use very soon.

The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani, who made the announcement of the  alleged exclusive news on the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation ‌AirPods‌ through a Newsroom update and website refresh.

Miani, who we reached out to, said that new ‌AirPods‌ could be announced on May 18 via a press release that could also include a ‘‌Apple Music‌ HiFi’ debut

The rumors on the street are that the new tier will cost the same $9.99 as the current individual ‌Apple Music‌ package. The price will make HiFi Apple Music or Apple Music HiFi very appealing to the tens of millions of existing subscribers.

But how Apple plans to integrate HiFi music streaming into its existing tiers remain unknown.

“Code within the first beta of the upcoming iOS 14.6 update suggests that HiFi ‌Apple Music‌ streaming could be limited to only compatible hardware.”

Apple iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Air
Apple iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Air (2020 models)

With hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads being used around the world, it’s not like Apple doesn’t have a captive audience to sell lossless streaming to. 

Apple have actually sold more than 2.2 billion iPhones since inception. Not a typo. 

Name one high-end audio product that ever sold 1% of that total.

We are operating under the assumption that Apple HiFi Music support would also be available to customers without the new ‌AirPods or AirPods Max‌ — although it’s unknown if Apple will have certain hardware requirements for speakers, and headphones to support the lossless streaming tier.

The logical answer is that AirPlay 2 supports 16-bit/44.1kHz and we’re not sure why Apple would limit the ability of consumers to stream its new lossless tier to wireless loudspeakers, network streamers, network amplifiers, and headphones.

It would simply drive customers to Spotify HiFi by forcing people to only use specific Apple products. Cupertino isn’t that stupid. We think. We’re not talking about Hi-Res streaming with this new lossless tier so it would make zero sense for Apple to alienate people at launch.

Update: Apple Announces Apple Music Lossless at No Extra Charge

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