Rumours continue to surface about the impending launch of two of Apple’s most delayed products — the AirPower and second-generation AirPods, both of which have been at least hinted at for over a year with very confusing and sometimes contradictory reports about when they will be arriving and what form they will be arriving in.
It now looks like the reports are becoming a bit more consistent, however, suggesting that the products are in fact getting closer to launch. Earlier this year, DigiTimes predicted that “AirPods 2” would be coming this spring with the AirPower charging mat later in 2019. Now, a new report by rumour site MySmartPrice seems to be confirming the schedule for AirPods 2 while also adding some additional details and suggesting that AirPower may be hitting the shelves sooner rather than later.
According to the report, the second-generation AirPods will be visually identical to the original AirPods, while offering Bluetooth 5.0 support, and improved audio quality. A “trusted source” speaking to the site said that the new models will offer improved bass response, and may also incorporate a new coating for better grip, one that the report describes as “similar to the one Google uses for its Pixel smartphones.” The new AirPods are expected to include the same sized battery and battery life as the current version, and the report even suggests that they will be priced around $200.
Sources also confirm previous rumours that the new AirPods will include more sensors, although they were less clear on what the sensors will be used for. While other recent reports have suggested that Apple is looking to incorporate health monitoring features into the AirPods, such as heart rate sensors, it’s been less clear whether these features would be coming to the next version of the AirPods, or whether this was something Apple was working on for the rumoured 2020 redesign of the wireless earbuds.
To be fair, Apple has never publicly said much of anything about new AirPods, other than suggesting that the company would be incorporating wireless charging capabilities into an AirPods case. On the other hand, Apple’s AirPower charging mat, which the company debuted on stage in 2017, has been a much more public setback for the company. Apple originally promised a 2018 release for the charging mat, but by the time its fall 2018 iPhone event rolled around, the company appeared to be doing everything it could to pretend that the wireless charger had never existed in the first place, leading some industry watchers to believe that Apple may have scrapped the project entirely. By late 2018, however, it appeared that Apple was still quietly working behind the scenes to make the charging mat succeed, and a supply chain report in January all but confirmed that AirPower was still very much on the table.
Now, sources suggest that it may even be closer than originally thought, indicating that AirPower will be released this spring as well, along with the long-rumoured wireless charging case for the first-generation AirPods. The report’s sources also provide a few additional details that we haven’t seen before, suggesting that the AirPower will be “slightly thicker than originally expected” due to the new coil configuration that was required, and that Apple is working on some additional “exclusive features” for the AirPower that will be incorporated into iOS 13. Sources also claim that TV commercials are already being filmed for the wireless charging pad, again suggesting an imminent release, and are speculating that it will be priced “around $150 at launch.”
It’s worth mentioning that MySmartPrice doesn’t have an established track record — good or bad — when it comes to Apple rumours, and the report doesn’t provide any information on its sources, so the additional details provided by the report should be viewed with some healthy skepticism.