The 2026 AirPods Will Have a Camera, But You Won't Be Able to Take Photos With Them

Apple’s goal is for everything to center around its Vision Pro headset, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

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According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company led by Tim Cook plans to launch a new model of AirPods with a camera in 2026. However, don't think that this a new way for you to take photos. The purported camera in the AirPods will specifically be an infrared camera and will not intended for photographic functions.

Foxconn is said to be the supplier that will provide these IR sensors and equip the AirPods with the new hardware. Although Kuo hasn’t indicated which AirPods will be the first to incorporate infrared sensors, it’s likely to be the Pro model unless the company surprises us by incorporating them into the entire AirPods family in 2026.

Apple’s main goal is to reportedly to enhance the integration of its Vision Pro with the AirPods, aiming to improve the interpretation of spatial sound. According to Kuo, the new AirPods will be able to detect changes in movement, thus enhancing the overall sound experience.

In essence, this means that if you use the Vision Pro with the 2026 AirPods model and turn your head, the experience will be even more accurate than it is today. However, Kuo hasn’t revealed any further technical details on how the new model will improve the spatial sound already offered by Apple’s headphones.

Beyond the  new AirPods, 2026 will be a key year for Apple. Rumors suggest that a foldable device could arrive then, opening a new stage for a company that has so far not hopped on this bandwagon despite the pressure from competitors. Similarly, there are talks of Apple potentially introducing Face ID under the screen in 2026, too. Currently, Face ID cameras are integrated in the iPhone's notch, which the company achieves by puncturing the panel.

For now, all we know about Apple’s plans for 2026 are rumors. However, they all point in the same direction: In two years, its product catalog will be full of surprises.

Image | Xataka

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