The courage to guess…
On 7th September, Apple announced the demise of the 3.5mm audio jack. Alongside that, they introduced their Airpods, helping to stoke the momentum for a new world of hearable devices, The loss of the jack was a move which generated howls of anguish from the wireophile community, along with a flurry of speculation about how Airpods worked as well as what Apple’s new W1 wireless chip was doing.
Having been working with wireless standards and hearables for several years, much of that speculation seemed ill-informed. Once Airpods come to market in October, companies like iFixit and Chipworks will take them to pieces and we’ll have a better idea of exactly what Apple have done. But those first tear-downs are still a few months away. So I thought it would be interesting to try a speculative teardown, based on how I might have designed them, and on the limited information which is in the public domain. I also think I know what Apple’s second wireless chip will be, and it’s not the W2. Continue →