AirPods could come with a charging case that supports USB-C in 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. It doesn’t look like we should expect USB-C on the AirPods Pro 2 that Apple’s expected to launch later this year, though, as Kuo still believes the case may still feature a Lightning port.
Adding a USB-C port to the AirPods case would be less convenient if you like to swap charging cables with a current iPhone, but would make them more compatible with everything else. It also saves you from going through the trouble of sawing into your existing case and then replacing the Lightning port with USB-C, like this modder did.
I predict Apple will launch USB-C-capable charging cases for all AirPods models in 2023. However, the charging case of the new AirPods Pro 2 launched in 2H22 may still support Lightning.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) August 9, 2022
In May, Kuo suggested that Apple’s also working on a USB-C-compatible iPhone, which he believes isn’t likely to appear until next year. This tracks with rumors from Apple watcher Mark Gurman, which indicate that Apple has already begun testing iPhones with USB-C. Gurman believes we shouldn’t expect to see the devices on the market until 2023 “at the earliest.”
Apple has already switched its iPads to USB-C, and its rumored push to swap the ports on its other devices could be related to a new law set to come into effect in the EU. The legislation requires all phones sold in the country to come with USB-C by fall 2024, with a deadline for other devices to follow.