Next-gen AirPods Pro may come with USB-C charging case
The next generation of AirPods Pro will move away from Apple's Lightning port for the charging case. Mark Gurman says that the company is switching to USB-C charging cases for the wearable devices.
AirPods Pro may come with USB-C charging case
While the regular AirPods follow a 2-year upgrade cycle, the AirPods Pro are upgraded once every 3-years. The next-gen version of the AirPods Pro is likely to come with a USB Type-C port. Apple is no stranger to USB Type-C ports, the universal port has been present on Macs for a few years. Not everyone who uses AirPods may have an Apple device or a lightning cable, you may use them with Android phones, Windows PCs and laptops too. Apple's audio devices reportedly bring in billions of dollars in revenue, so it makes sense to switch to a non-proprietary charging port.
Of course, we must remember the new regulations that were set by the European Union. The EU wants manufacturers of electronic devices to have a USB Type-C port in their products by the second half of 2024, this includes phones and portable devices. The AirPods and their charging case would fall under the latter, so that could be another reason why the Cupertino company may already be shifting from Lightning ports to a USB-C port for the AirPods Pro charging case.
It is unclear why Apple hasn't given the same treatment to the regular AirPods, but according to the report, the company is planning to move to USB-C on future generations of its other audio products. The next-gen AirPods Pro could be announced along with the iPhone 15 series in Fall 2023.
(Image courtesy: Unsplash)
Apple could drop the price of AirPods
Gurman says that Apple may consider dropping the prices of its cheapest AirPods. While the AirPods (3rd generation) cost $169, its predecessor, the AirPods (2nd generation) remains a popular choice due to its price tag of $129.
The company could slash this further, making them more affordable at $99. Making the earbuds cheaper may help Apple gain a stronger footing against the likes of competing products such as the Samsung's Galaxy Buds and Amazon's Echo Buds, both of which retail in the same price range.
(AirPods image via Apple)
AirPods may get a hearing test feature and body temperature sensors
This isn't the first time we are hearing about it, but there are some new details about these features. Apple is working on adding a hearing test feature to AirPods, which will play different tones and sounds that will determine how well a person can hear. The data from the test will be useful to detect hearing issues. As Gurman points out, the inclusion of such a feature could "Sherlock" apps like Mimi that have been designed to test the hearing capabilities of a person.
AirPods already support Conversation Boost, Live Listen which can help you hear conversations more clearly, even in noisy environments. The devices aren't marketed as a hearing aid, but Apple has been researching on making AirPods a proper hearing aid solution.And considering that the US Food and Drug Administration now allows people to buy hearing aids over-the-counter without a prescription, this could improve the sales of AirPods, if the company gets the devices certified. It has hired engineers from traditional hearing aid makers to help develop the products.
The next-gen AirPods will have sensors that will be used to determine a user's body temperature via the ear canal. The data obtained from these sensors may help diagnose if the user has a cold or other illness. The wearables will support the Vision Pro mixed reality headset that Apple introduced last month at WWDC 2023. The report claims that Apple will launch new models of the AirPods Pro and Max models.
Gurman says that the health related features could be implemented in future models of the AirPods that may be a year or two away. We have also heard reports about an AirPods case with a built-in touchscreen, it could still be in an early development phase.Advertisement