Ming-Chi Kuo hints at USB-C AirPods Pro in iOS 16.4

1 min read
Ming-Chi Kuo hints at USB-C AirPods Pro in iOS 16.4
(Image Credit: Apple)

Apple is reportedly working on a USB-C version of its second-gen AirPods Pro, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The earbuds could start shipping with a USB-C case during the second and third quarters of this year, Kuo said. However, the change apparently doesn’t apply to Apple’s standard AirPod models, as Kuo notes that the company currently has no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 and AirPods 3.

Kuo’s prediction was sparked by a tweet from Twitter user @aaronp613, who discovered references to a new AirPods model number (A3048) and a new AirPods case model number (A29680) in iOS 16.4. However, it’s worth noting that Kuo has also mentioned that Apple has no plans to release a USB-C version of the standard AirPods.

The second-generation AirPods Pro, which was launched in September 2021, comes with a Lightning port and is compatible with MagSafe, Qi, and Apple Watch chargers. The case also boasts a few new features, including a speaker that emits a noise when locating them with the Find My app, as well as a built-in loop where you can attach a lanyard.

It’s unclear whether the updated AirPods Pros will come with additional changes or whether Apple will sell the rumored USB-C case separately. Apple has released updated versions of its AirPods charging cases in the past, but it doesn’t sell them separately.

With the European Union mandating USB-C charging ports on new electronic devices from next year, Apple’s decision to shift away from Lightning is no surprise. Last year, the company confirmed its plan to change the iPhone’s connector to USB-C, and there are rumors that the iPhone 15 will come with the port.

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman predicted last year that Apple could bring USB-C to its AirPods and Mac accessories by 2024, while Kuo has also hinted that the fourth-generation AirPods could come with a USB-C charging case and could launch in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025.