One of Apple's most popular products may soon be getting a high-end counterpart.
The company is expected to launch AirPods Pro, with a new metal design, advanced sound quality and a $260 price tag, at a press event later this month, according to the China Economic Daily. AirPods currently start at $159.
The company declined to comment on the rumor. .
Earlier this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said two models of the popular Bluetooth earbuds were likely to hit production by the end of the year and launch in the first quarter of 2020.
The move would be in line with Apple's strategy to roll out premium version of its most popular products, as it's done with Macs, iPhones and iPads.
But it's been years since a gadget has won over users the way AirPods have. Although the design was originally mocked--some said they looked like electronic toothbrushes dangling from ears--it's amassed a cult-like following since its 2016 debut. Countless knockoffs exist, including a pair that doesn't even play music and serves as a fashion statement.
The company declined to share how many AirPods it's sold to date, although CEO Tim Cook previously called the demand "phenomenal." Analyst Neil Cybart, founder of Above Avalon, a website focused on Apple analysis, estimates Apple has sold 59 million pairs of AirPods -- 34 million over the past 12 months alone, signaling an impressive 85% year-over-year growth.
"AirPods are literally hanging out of people's ears; they're nearly impossible to miss when worn," Cybart said. "Since the lack of wires make AirPods useful for outdoors activities, including walking and running, they are bound to be seen in people's ears while out and about."