At its September 12th product unveiling event, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, made a brief reference to his company’s upcoming AirPods wireless charging case, which has been redesigned so that it can receive power directly via an external, Qi-enabled charging pad as opposed to via Lightning.
Of course, towards the end of the event, Apple surprised us all by announcing its own Qi-enabled wireless charging pad, dubbed AirPower, by early next year; however all that was said of the updated AirPods charging case, according to Schiller, was that the “optional new AirPods Wireless Charging Case” can be placed on the AirPower charging dock next to an iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X, in addition to an Apple Watch, offering users a single, refined surface to wirelessly charge all of their compatible Apple devices at once.
Beyond that, unfortunately, little is known about the revamped AirPods charging case — save for the fact that it will be offered as an “add-on” accessory for AirPod owners, Schiller said. AppleInsider claims it was able to spend some hands-on time with the new AirPods accessory after yesterday’s event, however, and determined that while the update appears “functionally identical” to the current AirPods charging case, it features slightly modified charging indicator placement and a noticeably absent piece of “exposed metal” on the back.
There’s currently no indication of either how much the new AirPods charging case will cost, or of a specific launch date. For comparison, in terms of pricing, Apple currently charges customers $69 to replace their lost AirPods charging case — and so it’s definitely not unreasonable to assume the new case will cost north of $89 or $99 — but again, we’ll just have to wait and see.
As far as a potential launch date: we could reasonably expect the new AirPods cases to drop around the same time as Apple’s upcoming AirPower charging mat, however in the best case scenario, IF they come out a bit sooner, then you’ll be happy to know there’s dozens of Qi-enabled charging pads already on the market to get you up-and-running, living the cord-free life.