Apple continues its moves towards USB-C connectivity and away from the proprietary Lightning connector first introduced in 2012. Hot on the heels of several reports detailing the upcoming iPhone 15 featuring a USB-C port, Apple is rumored to add USB-C to its AirPods Pro lineup. The charging case, which currently supports wireless Qi charging and sports a Lightning port would be replaced by a wireless/USB-C model.
It's not clear whether Apple would sell the USB-C AirPods Pro charging case separately. Apple previously delivered an upgraded AirPods charging case with MagSafe compatibility two years after the first AirPods were released. The company did not offer this case sold separately.
The current AirPods Pro charging case includes a speaker that plays an alert to help owners find the device when it goes missing. Components also include a U1 chip for full compatibility with Find My. In addition to Lightning, MagSafe, and wireless charging, the charging case can be used with an Apple Watch charger. Bringing USB-C into the mix aligns the AirPods Pro charging case with the upcoming iPhone 15.The iPhone 15 has been all but confirmed to include a titanium frame and USB-C charging port. Due to European Union regulations, Apple is moving to standardize charging technology across its mobile lineup. This promises to cut down on the number of different chargers and cables required to keep multiple devices powered up.
Entry-level AirPods are not expected to receive a USB-C charging case until a future generation. This iteration could occur by the end of 2024 to comply with EU mandates.