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'AirPods 3' still a wild card at Apple's MacBook Pro October 18 event

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Apple will refresh its MacBook Pro lineup at its Oct. 18 event, but "AirPods 3" are more of a wild card despite being ready to ship, according to an analyst.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Wedbush lead analyst Daniel Ives breaks down some of his expectations for Apple's "Unleashed" keynote event on Monday. The analyst believes the event will be focused on Apple Silicon Mac models.

The main "star of the show" will be a refresh of Apple's MacBook Pro lineup with an updated "M1X" chipset. Apple is largely expected to release both a 14-inch MacBook Pro and a 16-inch MacBook Pro with the updated chip, more port options, and a mini LED-powered display.

Wedbush also expects a Mac mini update that will introduce specifications in-line with the MacBook Pro models. Ives says the "M1X" chip is "essentially a new heavy duty engine being put in this new MacBook and will be music to the ears of core Mac


AirPods represent a bigger unknown for the analyst. While he believes Apple will likely announce new "AirPods 3" models, he notes that an AirPods appearance at the keynote is still up for debate.

According to Wedbush supply chain checks, the new "AirPods 3" have been built out and manufactured and are currently awaiting shipment. However, Ives notes that there's no consensus about whether Apple will actually release the updated headphones on Monday or at a later date.

The analyst says "AirPods 3" will have an AirPods Pro-style design but with new silicon ear tips, improved battery life, and shorter stems. He believes that Apple could ship close to 100 million AirPods units if the company unveils the new models on Monday.

Ives maintains his Outperform rating for Apple and 12-month AAPL price target of $185. The target is a sum-of-the-parts valuation based on Wedbush's 2022 estimates and includes a 16x multiple applied to Services at $1.3 trillion and a 7x multiple applied to the rest of Apple's hardware ecosystem at $2.1 trillion.