Apple’s manufacturing partners may already be mass producing AirPods 2 and AirPower for a rapidly approaching release, according to a new report out of the Far East supply chain.
Supplier Inventec is reportedly producing a new version of AirPods and charging case with a new surface coating, the Economic Daily News reported. Additionally, the report suggests that the AirPods are also being produced in a new black color variant.
The report also goes on to claim that the new AirPods, as well as Apple’s long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat, will become available in the spring. Because of EDN’s supply chain focus, it notes that orders for the new products will boost Inventec’s first quarter revenues.
It’s worth noting that it appears that EDN is independently reporting this information from its own sources, rather than rehashing past rumors. Because of that, the Chinese-language report may be further corroboration that AirPods 2 are on their way with a new texture and color option.
The EDN report didn’t elaborate on what the new surface material would be, but past rumors have suggested that the next-generation wireless earbuds could sport a “grippier” texture.
As far as other rumors, the so-called AirPods 2 are expected to feature an updated wireless chip that will allow for always-on Hey Siri and a higher degree of water resistance. Rumors of other additions, like noise cancellation and health monitoring features, have also been circling the blogosphere.
Apple has also essentially confirmed that an upcoming version of AirPods will come with a new case that will be Qi wireless charging (and AirPower) compatible. Presumably, that case will be included with AirPods 2.
It isn’t clear how or when Apple will unveil the new products, however. An upcoming special event on March 25 is rumored to be focused solely on services. While WWDC ’19 is another possible candidate, that event falls in the second quarter of 2019 and doesn’t always feature new hardware.
Apple could always surprise us by debuting new hardware at either event (and WWDC is still technically in the spring). Or it could simply release the updated AirPods and AirPower via press release, as it has done with other products in the past.