A reliable Apple analyst claims AirPods Pro 2 will enter mass production in the second half of 2022. The noise-canceling earbuds’ charging case will continue to feature a Lightning connector instead of switching to USB-C.
This time around, Apple suppliers will mass produce the AirPods Pro 2 in Vietnam instead of China, long the company’s primary manufacturing hub.
AirPods Pro 2 could be made in Vietnam
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s claims come hot on the heels of a report in The Wall Street Journal stating that Apple is looking to reduce its reliance on China for iPhone and MacBook manufacturing. Apple is seemingly urging its suppliers to explore the possibility of expanding production in India and Vietnam.
The iPhone-maker’s supply chain has been adversely affected due to China’s ongoing zero-COVID-19 policy. Factory shutdowns already pushed back the estimated delivery time of many Apple products to as far back as August.
Kuo says the shift from China to Vietnam for AirPods Pro 2 production can be attributed to the “relatively not complicated supply chain and Vietnam’s better production environment” compared to other countries. Apple suppliers already make certain products and components like power adapters in Vietnam.
2. The shift of AirPods Pro 2 production can be attributed to the relatively not complicated supply chain and Vietnam's better production environment (such as infrastructure and workforce) vs. most countries outside China.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 24, 2022
AirPods Pro 2 will continue to feature a Lightning port
Multiple recent reports suggest Apple plan to switch to USB-C with the iPhone 15 series in 2024. The company also is expected to eventually switch to USB-C across its entire product and accessories lineup, including AirPods. However, Kuo thinks the AirPods Pro 2 charging case will continue to use Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector.
The second-gen AirPods Pro 2 should debut this fall. They reportedly will benefit from a more compact design, Find My integration in the charging case, better sound quality and other advanced features. The current AirPods Pro have been on sale since 2019 and show their age compared to the competition.