Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today that the company aims to sell updated AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case later this year, with widespread distribution starting in the second or third quarter.
Released in September 2022 with a Lightning charging case, the second version of AirPods Pro was a huge success. With the revised version of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the charging case would switch to USB-C.
Any additional hardware modifications are currently unknown. Kuo speculates that the new AirPods references seen in the iOS 16.4 Release Candidate earlier this week are to the USB-C AirPods Pro.
There is precedence for a mid-cycle charging case upgrade since Apple began offering the original AirPods Pro with a MagSafe-compatible charging case around two years after their first release. It’s unclear if the USB-C case will be available independently, as was the case with the MagSafe one.
The AirPods Pro charging cases have a speaker that can produce a sound when the case is misplaced, a lanyard attachment hole, a U1 chip for Find My support, and, most recently, compatibility with the Apple Watch charger.
Kuo: AirPods Pro With USB-C Charging Case to Launch Later This Year https://t.co/vBDl1leM2b by @rsgnl pic.twitter.com/rj6tzKMNWp
— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) March 24, 2023
Seeing as how all four of the iPhone 15 models rumored for later this year will include a USB-C connector, it only seems logical for the AirPods Pro charging case to make the conversion as well.
Siri Remote for the Apple TV was already upgraded from Lightning to USB-C last year, and more accessories like the MagSafe Battery Pack are expected to follow.
Meanwhile, according to Kuo, Apple has no plans to create a USB-C charging case for the second or third-generation AirPods.
Thus, it looks like the basic AirPods won’t get a USB-C charging case until the fourth generation is launched. In October 2021, Apple announced its third generation of AirPods.