AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C case could launch as early as this spring


Ken Pillonel modded an AirPods Pro charging case and now offers a 3D-printed replacement case.
AirPods Pro 2 will supposedly get on the USB-C bandwagon soon.
Photo: Ken Pillonel

The mystery AirPods referenced in iOS 16.4 are a new version of AirPods Pro 2 with a USB-C case, according to a reliable Apple tipster. And the product could be out in the next few months.

If true, these will be a significant step in transitioning the iPhone ecosystem away from Lightning and to USB-C.

AirPods will start adopting USB-C

After nearly a decade of dragging its feet, Apple is finally switching iPhone to USB-C. The transition away from Lightning is being forced by the EU, and this fall’s iPhone 15 could be the first with USB-C.

The change means associated accessories will have to follow suit. A charging case for AirPods Pro 2 will be among the first of these from Apple, according to a Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with TF International Securities.

His prediction came in response to a recent report that the release candidate for iOS 16.4 references an unreleased AirPods with the model number A3048 and an unknown AirPods charging case carrying the model number A2968.

“I think this is likely the USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2, with mass shipments expected in 2Q23-3Q23,” Kuo said via a tweet.

The analyst’s timetable indicates the tweaked version of Apple’s wireless earbuds could be out this spring, but they also might not debut until September. That’s when the iPhone 15 with USB-C is expected.

But USB-C won’t be everywhere

AirPods Pro 2 may be the first to make the jump to USB-C, but other models current won’t make their own transition.

“Apple currently appears to have no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 & 3,” said Kuo.


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