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AirPods Pro 2 coming this year, still with Lightning charger

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Apple’s AirPods Pro were first released in October of 2019 and it appears we are finally nearing the release of a second-generation update. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports today that AirPods Pro 2 are expected to enter mass production during the second half of the year, but he also has bad news for those who were hoping for a change to the charging case…

In a new thread on Twitter, Kuo explains that he expects AirPods Pro 2 mass production will begin during the second half of this year. Interestingly, he also notes that AirPods Pro 2 will be manufactured in Vietnam, signaling a reduction in Apple’s reliance on China.

This comes after the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Apple has informed some of its suppliers that it wants to shift production from China to hubs in Vietnam and India.

Kuo says that Apple’s decision to shift production from China to Vietnam for AirPods Pro 2 can be attributed to the product’s “relatively not complicated supply chain and Vietnam’s better production environment.”

Currently, AirPods Pro are manufactured and assembled in both China and Vietnam, but Kuo seems to believe the shift to Vietnam will continue at a higher rate with AirPods Pro 2 this year. Apple is still expected to test and perfect AirPods Pro 2 manufacturing in China during the “New Product Introduction” phase of the process.

AirPods Pro 2 charging

In terms of features and changes to expect, Kuo predicts that the AirPods Pro 2 charging case will still feature a Lightning port for charging, dashing hopes for a switchover to USB-C this year.

Kuo reported earlier this month that Apple is currently testing the iPhone 15 with a USB-C port for charging. The analyst also predicted that when (or if) the iPhone switches to USB-C charging, Apple will also transition AirPods and other accessories to USB-C.

Unfortunately, it seems like Apple will make us wait a bit longer until it transitions AirPods Pro to USB-C charging. If Kuo’s prediction comes to fruition, this year’s AirPods Pro update will still feature Lightning charging.

Other rumored features for AirPods Pro 2 include a new form factor, the addition of health and fitness tracking capabilities, and support for Lossless audio playback. Apple itself has even teased that AirPods could one day complement the health tracking capabilities of the Apple Watch by offering additional data points.

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