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 is expected to launch later this year, as Kuo still thinks the case may still feature a Lightning port.
Adding a USB-C port to the AirPods case would be less convenient if you like swapping charging cables with a current iPhone, but would make them more compatible with everything else. It also saves you from having to saw through your existing case and then replace the Lightning port with USB-C, like this modder did.
I predict that Apple will launch USB-C compatible charging cases for all AirPods models in 2023. However, the charging case for the new AirPods Pro 2 launched in 2H22 can still support Lightning.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) August 9, 2022
In May, Kuo suggested that Apple is also working on a USB-C compatible iPhone, which he says is unlikely to appear until next year. This follows rumors from Apple watcher Mark Gurman that Apple has already started testing iPhones with USB-C. Gurman thinks we shouldn’t expect to see the devices hitting the market until 2023 “at the earliest”.
Apple has already switched its iPads to USB-C, and its rumored port change on its other devices could be tied to a new law that’s set to come into force in the EU. Legislation requires all phones sold in the country to have USB-C by fall 2024, with a deadline for other devices to follow.