During the “Let’s meet at our place” event on September 12, Apple showed us that what we thought was going to be a revision to the AirPods wireless headphones is really just a new charging case for the accessory. The upcoming AirPods Wireless Charging Case is Qi-compatible, meaning it can be recharged via an inductive power mat. The tech giant didn’t give any hint of the price or ship date for the accessory, but rumors are pointing to a release date in December.
A Leak From Apple Switzerland
Swiss publication MacPrime [Google Translate] has received information from Apple Switzerland about the upcoming release of the AirPods Wireless Charging Case. The leaked information points to a December launch date, potentially in time for the holidays. The case will cost just $69, the same as out-of-warranty fee for the repair or replacement of the current AirPod Charging Case.
That price seems pretty reasonable, since not much has changed in the case. The inductive charging capability has been added, and the battery indicator light has been moved to the front of the case. Previously, you had to open the lid of the case to check the battery level. With the LED battery light on the front of the case, all you’ll have to do is glance at the accessory to see if it’s fully charged or not.
Will the AirPods Wireless Charging Case Come Standard With the Headphones?
We don’t know. Current AirPod owners will be able to purchase the new wireless charging case from Apple, but Apple hasn’t said if it will be changing which version of the charging case ships with new pairs of the wireless headphones.
If the information from Apple Switzerland is correct, I would surmise that Cupertino will eventually begin shipping new pairs of AirPods with the new wireless charging case. With the equal price point for the wireless and wired versions, it doesn’t make sense for Apple to continue producing both models.
About Apple's Wireless Charging
Apple is not yet producing its own wireless charging mat. For the time being, folks who purchase the iPhone 8, iPhone X, or AirPods Wireless Charging Case will need to buy third-party Qi-compatible power pads to take advantage of wireless charging.
Apple did announce its own accessory for that purpose, though, the AirPower. Not much is yet known about the product, except that it’s due sometime in 2018.