According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple may release a USB-C version of its second-gen AirPods Pro with a USB-C case in the second and third quarters of this year. However, Kuo notes that this update may not apply to Apple’s standard AirPod models, as the company currently has no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 & 3. The prediction was made in response to a tweet by @aaronp613, who spotted references to a new AirPods model number (A3048), along with a new AirPods case model number (A29680) in iOS 16.4. If this prediction turns out to be accurate, it would suggest that Apple is continuing to invest in its AirPods lineup and is looking to make improvements to the popular wireless earbuds. The move to a USB-C case could also be seen as a way to standardize charging across its product line, as many of Apple’s other devices already use USB-C.
The current second-gen AirPods Pro model comes with a Lightning port and is compatible with MagSafe, Qi, and Apple Watch chargers. Apple also added new features to the case, such as a speaker that emits a noise when locating them with the Find My app, and a built-in loop to attach a lanyard. It is currently unclear if the rumored updated AirPods Pro with a USB-C case will come with any additional changes, or if the USB-C case will be sold separately. In the past, Apple has released updated versions of its AirPods charging cases, such as the MagSafe case option for the AirPods Pro in 2021 and last year’s Lightning-only charging case for the third-gen AirPods, but these cases were not sold separately.