Did LeBron James just leak an upcoming Apple product? It sure looks like it

LeBron James of Los Angeles Lakers speaks during press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LeBron James looks to have given the tech world a big clue about an unreleased Apple product over the weekend. The Los Angeles Laker arrived at the Ball Arena in Denver on Saturday carrying what eagle-eyed gadget lovers (h/t macrumors) quickly discerned as an unreleased version of the Beats Pill Bluetooth speaker.

The prospect of a new Beats Pill is an interesting one since Apple quietly discontinued the most recent version in early 2022. That was the Pill+ and while reviewers at the time praised the improvements it made in sound quality, they were put off by the high price ($230 (£190, AU$360 at launch) and many reasoned that other options at the time, like the JBL Charge 3 or UE Boom 2, offered a better overall package.

Apple seemed content to let the issue lie and instead Beats seemingly focused on turning out some really rather good headphones instead. But is the Pill about to make a comeback? Based on the fact one of the biggest sports superstars on the planet is walking around with one in plain view — and having it posted on Instagram — seems to be a big clue.

The speaker in James’ hand clearly shows the Beats logo and he’s carrying it by a lanyard, something that wasn’t present on any previous Beats Pill speaker.

What else could we expect from a new Beats Pill? Almost certainly USB-C charging and some refinements to the audio and Bluetooth technology given the last version of the product was released nine years ago.

Beats has plenty of brand clout in the audio space but the competition for the best Bluetooth speaker is only getting more intense. There’s a strong rumor that Sonos will launch the Roam 2 in a few months and, recently, the new Ult-series Bluetooth speakers from Sony blew away Tom’s Guide audio editor Lee Dunkley when he got to hear them at a London-based launch event.

So, while it looks like a new Beats Pill speaker is on the horizon, its success in the market is anything but a slam dunk in 2024.       

More from Tom's Guide

Jeff Parsons
UK Editor In Chief

Jeff is UK Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide looking after the day-to-day output of the site’s British contingent. Rising early and heading straight for the coffee machine, Jeff loves nothing more than dialling into the zeitgeist of the day’s tech news.

A tech journalist for over a decade, he’s travelled the world testing any gadget he can get his hands on. Jeff has a keen interest in fitness and wearables as well as the latest tablets and laptops. A lapsed gamer, he fondly remembers the days when problems were solved by taking out the cartridge and blowing away the dust.