Continuing with its move toward USB-C, Apple looks set to incorporate the connector into the charging case for its AirPods Pro earbuds, according to respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The second generation of Apple’s top-of-the-line earbuds, which the tech giant released in September last year, features a Lightning charging case. But Kuo, who has called it right in the past when it comes to Apple’s plans, said in a recent tweet that Apple is “likely” to start selling a USB-C charging case with Apple’s premium buds, adding that it could start shipping as early as the second quarter of this year.
The analyst also said that Apple “currently appears to have no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 and 3.”
To be clear, it seems that the USB-C charging case will come with the current, second version of the AirPods Pro, which launched in September last year, meaning that it won’t be a part of any major hardware update to the buds themselves.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Apple has tweaked the charging setup for its wireless earbuds following their release. Well after the first AirPods Pro buds launched, for example, Apple swapped the charging case with one that supports MagSafe.
Bringing USB-C to the AirPods Pro 2 wouldn’t come as a major surprise as the tech giant has been gradually moving away from its proprietary Lightning port toward the more widely used USB-C connecter in recent years.
The iPad Pro has used USB-C for years, followed by the iPad Air, the iPad Mini, and, just last year, the standard iPad. It also added USB-C to Apple TV’s Siri Remote and is expected to finally bring it to its smartphone with the launch of the iPhone 15 later this year.
Apple has been encouraged to shift away from Lightning after the European Union brought in legislation last year that meant many electronic devices sold there will soon have to come with a USB-C port. The move is designed to reduce e-waste while easing cable-related stress for consumers constantly messing around with different connectors.
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