Over the summer an Apple patent surfaced teasing possible plans for a pair of Bluetooth EarPods. Now it looks like the company could be preparing to actually launch its wireless earbuds after filing a series of trademarks protecting the term AirPods.
MacRumors reports that Cupertino has been securing the new name through a shell company called Entertainment in Flight. There’s no direct connection between the two firms, but recent activity lines up with how Apple typically tries to keep new trademarks a secret.
First, Apple likes to start the process with a trademark in Jamaica because the country’s lack of an online database makes it easier to hide new filings. Entertainment in Flight submitted its trademark in Jamaica back in March. The Cupertino company also tends to use a Gmail address for its contact info in these situations. Finally, this shell company appears to be using the same law firms as Apple in a number of countries including Norway, Australia, Canada and Turkey.
If Apple is planning to replace its EarPods with AirPods, the change could happen as soon as next year with the iPhone 7. Switching to wireless could also mean ditching the headphone jack altogether, which would allow for an even thinner design on next year’s model.