AirPods Pro 2 may stick with Lightning charging case | Cult of Mac

AirPods Pro 2 may stick with Lightning charging case ahead of 2023 switch to USB-C

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Modders like Ken Pillonel put USB-C ports in AirPods cases, but Apple may not for the upcoming AirPods Pro 2 case.
Modders like Ken Pillonel put USB-C ports in AirPods cases, but Apple may not for the upcoming AirPods Pro 2 case.
Photo: Ken Pillonel

Apple products are shifting from Cupertino’s proprietary Lightning connectors to USB-C, but the switch may not be in the cards for the second generation of AirPods Pro, expected to ship before the end of the year.

Or so said a prominent analyst Tuesday, anyway.

Upcoming AirPods Pro 2 may keep Lightning port ahead of all AirPods switching to USB-C in 2023

So AirPods Pro 2 may see several upgrades, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted Tuesday that the new flagship earbuds will still use a Lightning charging case. It was a reiteration of the point after a previous claim that focused on production shifting from China to Vietnam.

The switch to USB-C across the AirPods lineup will happen in 2023, he said.

Generally speaking, Apple’s gradual switch to USB-C is likely driven by a new European Union regulation that will require the port become standard on iPhone and AirPods models starting in 2024. Aimed at reducing e-waste and boosting interoperability, that law was passed earlier this year.

New chip and several upgrades

Kuo still expects the next AirPods Pro to come out later this year. Rumors have predicted the new earbuds will feature an upgraded H1 chip that might be called H2.

The new chip will help power a slew of features: active noise cancellation, updated motion sensors for better fitness trackin, support for Apple Lossless audio, a new charging case that can make a sound if lost, a sensor for improved in-ear detection and others.

Better Bluetooth?

The new buds may also feature a powerful new Bluetooth standard for stronger wireless connections and improved audio quality.

Other reports have said Cupertino tested a more compact AirPods Pro design with no stems, like Apple’s Beats Studio Buds. But recent rumors contradicted that and say no significant design changes are expected. The jury’s still out on certain new sensors, too.

Kuo predicted in May that many other iPhone accessories would also switch to USB-C.