May 24 update below. This post was first published on May 21, 2022.
When Apple unveils its next earbuds, what we’re calling AirPods Pro 2, and I’m sure Apple will call the second generation AirPods Pro, there will be good news for those who want a big step forward in audio innovation. But there will be a tail trail as well in the price.
This is according to the latest blog post from Tweet embed Who, at iDropNews, took a comprehensive look at what Apple is likely to reveal at its September event, expected to be the next big event after WWDC next month.
In addition to talking about the iPhone 14, there are details about the Pro iPhones due to be announced and the Apple Watch Series 8.
Update May 24. When it comes to analysts, it is very difficult to ignore Ming-Chi Kuo. and today, In the thread of tweetsHe revealed more key details about the upcoming Pro AirPods headphones. First, he said that Apple will start mass production of AirPods Pro 2 in the second half of this year, in Vietnam, which he described as a “successful case of mass production of major Apple products outside of China.”
As the tweets went on, he talked about moving production from one country to another and how the successful AirPods production move should not be seen as applying to other products as well. The iPhone, for example, is a different product, and Kuo says “it’s not easy to build a complete non-Chinese phone production site.” He also stated that setting up facilities in Vietnam “instead of India could reduce potential geopolitical risks”.
But then, there’s his last tweet which is the most interesting. “I would expect the AirPods Pro 2 charging case to support Lightning, not USB-C.” Well, that’s interesting, and while it doesn’t quite contradict what @LeaksApplePro says – see below – it’s a clear indication that those with the following AirPods Pro have a different charging system may be disappointed.
Discussions about switching to USB-C for Apple products have been heated lately, and it’s expected to happen with the iPhone 15 in 2023 at the earliest. But that doesn’t mean other products haven’t been able to make the switch before then, and AirPods Pro 2 appears to be a major opportunity. On the other hand, if Apple is going to switch Lightning to USB-C, you’ll probably want the iPhone to be the next big product to change connectors, not for example AirPods, Magic Mouse, or iPads. If the AirPods Pro 2 land as expected this fall, we have a little more time to wait. Now, back to @LeaksApplePro’s predictions.
But the author keeps his biggest superlatives on AirPods Pro 2, saying, “AirPods Pro 2 will be the biggest innovation in wireless earbuds since the original AirPods were introduced in 2016.”
Well, that’s a great thing.
A big reason to like the new earbuds is lossless audio support, also rumored with other details here, which the new report explains is possible “thanks to a new codec, uninterrupted design, and modern noise-cancelling technology.”
The new design is interesting and aligns with other leaks that suggest Apple is keen to remove the stalk sticking out of your ear.
It’s not certain that the new earbuds will be announced at the September event, as the writer claims it depends on whether the event is online or in person. I’m not sure the reason given is correct, the internet provides the ability to multiple events in a couple of months as Apple has done routinely with personal keywords, but we’ll see.
On the other hand, the first AirPods Pro were revealed through a press release and a special behind-the-scenes event on a small scale, so it is very likely that the AirPods Pro 2 will be launched in a similar fashion.
There’s also support for rumors that Apple could use USB-C instead of Lightning in AirPods Pro 2, and you can read your reasons for thinking here. There are prototypes out there with USB-C, called @LeaksApplePro.
Then there is the bad news.
The last line of the report says, “I expect it to be available in white and cost around $299.”
The color is hardly a surprise but the price, boy? That’s $50 over the AirPods Pro. When Apple introduced the third-generation AirPods, they cost $179 with the wireless charging case, which is $20 less than the second-generation with the wireless charging case (although a second-generation model without wireless charging was earlier). So, I find the idea that Apple will raise the price by $50 a bit surprising.
Also, there are reports that the price of the second-generation AirPods has dropped to $129, sales of the latest version weren’t as strong as customers voted for cheaper AirPods instead.
Of course, Apple likely won’t keep the current AirPods Pro in the range when the next model is released, so the buyer’s dilemma won’t apply. Instead, customers will choose between second- and third-generation AirPods models, over-ear AirPods Max, and all-new AirPods Pro 2.
More details as they appear.