Apple's long-rumored AirPods Pro 2 have been a hotly anticipated pair of earbuds, and they may finally be on track to enter mass production in the second half of 2022 thanks to a boost in production outside China.
According to oft-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next-gen AirPods Pro will enter mass production in Vietnam later this year. This isn't the first time Kuo has made this claim, as last month he claimed Apple will discontinue the AirPods Pro to make way for the AirPods Pro 2 when they arrive in 2022.
(1/4)1. AirPods Pro 2 will enter mass production in Vietnam in 2H22, a successful case of mass production of Apple's major products outside China.https://t.co/siWe9HItrd @WSJMay 24, 2022
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Apple is now looking to boost production of its products outside of China due to a rise in COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. India and Vietnam, which are already used for a small portion of manufacturing, are now in focus, with the latter being used for the rumored production of the AirPods Pro 2.
Kuo notes that the "AirPods Pro 2 production can be attributed to the relatively not complicated supply chain and Vietnam's better production environment (such as infrastructure and workforce) vs. most countries outside China." However, he also states it will be challenging to "duplicate the successful experience of AirPods Pro 2 to other products or countries in the short term."
The new AirPods Pro's charging case is still expected to use a Lightning connection rather than a USB-C one, Kuo predicts. Many believe Apple may start using USB-C ports on its products, but not until 2023. Now with a rumored launch window, it seems the AirPods Pro 2 and iPhone 14 could launch around the same time, with both sticking with Lightning connections.
The AirPods Pro 2 are expected to launch with an all-new design, and we may already have a sneak peek at them. The earbuds are tipped to have a similar design to Apple's Beats Studio Pro earbuds so expect a chopped-off stem and possibly different color options. It's also expected to offer better battery life, improved noise-cancellation, and have “ambient light sensors” for health-tracking features.
Previous leaks and rumors of the AirPods Pro 2 have been scattered, as many believed they were set to launch in the first half of 2021. Take this all in with a pinch of salt, but since it's been years since the release of the popular AirPods Pro in 2019, it's about time they got an upgrade.
Apple's WWDC 2022 event has been confirmed for June 6, and while we don't expect the AirPods Pro 2, we do expect forthcoming updates to iOS 16, along with a possible M2 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro 13-inch refresh.