AirPods Pro With USB-C Charging Case Could Launch This Year, Analyst Says

Apple has been transitioning away from the Lightning port over the past few years.

Nina Raemont Writer
A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Nina started at CNET writing breaking news stories before shifting to covering Security Security and other government benefit programs. In her spare time, she's in her kitchen, trying a new baking recipe.
Nina Raemont
Apple AirPods Pro 2

Your next pair of AirPods could have a USB-C charging case. The company is planning to launch a version of its second-generation AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case later this year, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a highly respected industry watcher. 

"I think this is likely the USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2, with mass shipments expected in 2Q23-3Q23," Kuo said in a tweet on Friday, referring to a report of new AirPod and charging case model numbers referenced in iOS 16.4, the next version of Apple's iPhone software. 

The company has been transitioning away from its proprietary Lightning charging port, which the current AirPods Pro 2 case includes, over the past few years. There has been speculation that the next iPhone could have a USB-C charging port instead of Lightning. 

The move from Lightning to USB-C has been encouraged by the European Union. In November, the EU passed legislation that will force Apple to include USB-C charging ports in its products if it wants to sell devices in the region. The law was intended to decrease the number of cables consumers collect with their various devices and prevent e-waste. 

Apple does not plan to include a USB-C charging case with the second- or third-generation (non-Pro) AirPods, Kuo said.  

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.