Speculation are rife that a recent Apple patent application published on Thursday may offer some hints that explains an abandoned AirPods design that aimed to keep the earbuds more firmly in place.
The organization does use hooks in its Powerbeats line, but those are more consciously fitness-focused and stemmed prior to Apple’s aquisition of Beats in 2014.Google ads script
Keeping AirPods in the ear has been a key concern of prospective buyers, though most initial tests suggest they are unlikely to fall out without a wire attached. Some third-party accessory makers are even selling add-on cables that keep them physically connected.
It’s not certain if the concept was born with the AirPods in mind– one layout shows a conventional wired set of earbuds– but Apple’s filing does mention wireless antenna assemblies.
The patent describes a set of hooks that would certainly not only attach around the ear but magnetically attract each other from opposite sides of the ear wall, stopping earbuds from falling out. Apple first published the idea in June.Google ads script
Conceivably, Apple may have decided against hooks for aesthetic reasons like simplified end user experience, or it was a mere technical huddle that would have made charging a little bit of a challenge.
This can be quantified by looking at their final design where the AirPods are charged by inserting them into a small battery case– one particular thing that wouldn’t have worked with hooks in the way.