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AirPods Pro with USB-C could arrive in 2023

Apple may soon release a new version of its second-generation AirPods Pro with a USB-C connector. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new headphones may start shipping with a USB-C case as early as the second or third quarter of this year.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C charging case are expected as early as 2023
The comment was made in a tweet responding about a supposed new model of AirPods
According to Kuo, Apple does not appear to have plans for USB-C versions for the AirPods 2 and 3
The move may be a response to European Union requirements
However, Kuo notes that the USB-C version of the AirPods Pro may not be applicable to Apple’s standard AirPod models, as the company currently would have no plans to introduce USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 and 3.

The prediction was in response to a tweet from a Twitter user who found references to a new AirPods model number (A3048) and a new AirPods case model number (A29680) in iOS 16.4.

I think this is probably the USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2, with mass shipments expected between Q2 and Q3 2023. By the way, Apple currently seems to have no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 and 3.

Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple analyst

The second generation AirPods Pros were released by Apple in September last year with a Lightning port and compatibility with MagSafe, Qi, and Apple Watch chargers. The new version also included several new features, such as a speaker that emits a sound when you locate them with the Find My app and a built-in strap where a lanyard can be attached.

USB-C port on Airpods Pro would meet European Union requirement. Image: KpertC/Shutterstock
USB-C port on Airpods Pro would meet European Union requirement. Image: KpertC/Shutterstock

It’s unclear if the updated AirPods Pros will come with other changes, or if Apple will also sell that USB-C case separately. In the past, Apple has released updated versions of its AirPods charging cases, such as the MagSafe case option introduced for the AirPods Pro in 2021 and the Lightning-only charging case for the third-generation AirPods last year. However, Apple does not sell these cases separately.

The switch to USB-C charging ports by Apple is likely a response to the European Union’s requirement that many types of new electronic devices must have USB-C charging ports by next year. The change in ports had already been predicted in October 2022 by analyst Mark Gurman, who projected the adaptations for 2024.

Apple has already confirmed that it plans to change the iPhone connector to USB-C, and rumors suggest that the iPhone 15 will come with the port. In Brazil, a bill presented in October proposed standardization for USB-C in the country.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple may bring the USB-C port to its AirPods and Mac accessories by 2024. Kuo previously reported that the fourth-generation AirPods could come with a USB-C charging case and may be released in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025.

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