AirPods Pro with USB-C charging will launch this year, renowned analyst reckons

AirPods Pro with USB-C charging will launch this year, renowned analyst reckons
(Image credit: Future)

Apple will launch a new pair of AirPods 2 equipped with USB-C charging later this year, according to one analyst. Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted that the USB-C-equipped AirPods Pro will launch at the end of this year or early 2024, via MacRumors

Kuo spotted references to new AirPods within the source code of the iOS 16.4 beta released last week. He believes this refers to the USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2.

It's not known if Apple will make any other changes to a new par of AirPods Pro. The AirPods Pro 2 launched in September 2022, and like all current models of in-ear AirPods, includes a charging case with a Lightning port. Lightning is Apple's proprietary connection used on its accessories and iPhones, and some model of iPad. But not for long.

From late next year, new EU legislation will make all makers of smartphones, tablets and other portable electronics devices to adopt USB-C as standard. It's hoped this will reduce electrical waste and be more convenient for consumers. Apple has said previously that it will have no choice but to comply with the legislation, though since the UK left the EU, there is some doubt as to whether the UK government will enact a similar law.

Apple already uses USB-C for some models of iPad. The iPhone 15 rumoured for later this year is predicted to have a USB-C port instead of Lightning.

So could we see new models of the existing AirPods with USB-C in place of Lightning connectors? Kuo doesn't think so. Rather, he reckons Apple will wait until it launches a new model of AirPods before adopting USB-C.


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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.