New Rumours Suggest March 29 Release for AirPods, AirPower, and New iPads

AirPods on Table Beside Case Credit: DedMityay / Shutterstock
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Rumours of several new Apple products have been increasing, as is usually the case when things get closer to release. Over the past month, we’ve already seen rumours predicting the arrival of Apple’s next-generation AirPods, its long-awaited AirPower charging mat, and a series of new iPads. Now, an additional source is adding its voice to the chorus with predictions of a date for all of this to occur: March 29.

The report this time comes from Greek site iPhoneHellas, which claims to have heard from a reliable source in Apple’s Chinese supply chain that the upgraded AirPods, the new AirPower, and the new 2019 iPad and iPad mini 5 will be available for in-store purchase on Friday, March 29th. The source claims that Apple is planning an event to unveil the new devices in late March, and will open pre-orders on March 22, similar to the lead time that Apple often provides with new product releases.

The report goes on to echo other recent predictions that the new AirPods will feature “Hey Siri” support along with an upgraded wireless chip, possibly a “W3” version, but says nothing about rumoured health sensors or other features.

This would seem to confirm news earlier this week that both AirPods 2 and AirPower are expected to arrive this spring, although it’s worth noting that neither of the sources of these recent rumours have an established track record at making reliable Apple predictions. Further, a tweet by the normally more reliable OnLeaks disputes the expected arrival of the AirPods 2, suggesting that Apple only plans to release the wireless charging case — a move that would make sense alongside the AirPower — but will not be debuting the actual AirPods 2 until its fall event. OnLeaks notes, however, that the source for this information is “new and yet unconfirmed but seemingly reliable.”

OnLeaks also adds that the AirPods 2 will be shipping in new colors, suggesting more than just the white and black variants that have been rumoured up to this point. The first-generation AirPods charging case would complement AirPower — likely the only reason the long-rumoured case has been delayed — and would presumably be available for purchase separately. While it’s less clear whether Apple would bundle it with the first-generation AirPods, Apple’s track record for environmental responsibility would suggest that the company is likely to do so, rather than encouraging users to replace their non-wireless cases. In fact, many have hoped that Apple will offer a recycling program for the original AirPods charging case.

Other than the date, the rumours of AirPower and new iPads are considerably less controversial. Apple has launched its non-Pro iPad models during late March and early April events for the past two years, and it would make sense that this would be accompanied by an updated iPad mini, since the latter is expected to be a relatively minor update.

While iPhonesHellas has occasionally offered accurate information on iOS releases over the years, they don’t have a history when it comes to Apple product releases. Apple’s recent trend of spring iPad events also suggests that this rumour may be little more than an educated guess on the part of the report’s source, but even if the date isn’t completely accurate, the fact that the iOS 12.2 betas already include references to new iPads and setup screens for AirPods 2 suggests that the new devices are coming sooner rather than later.

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