New AirPods Likely Delayed if Apple Doesn't Launch AirPower Charging Mat Today
Today’s leaks from Apple’s XML sitemap have revealed a flurry of product announcements we can expect at the company’s upcoming Gather Round event, including details of new iPhones and Apple Watch models.
On the flip side, the XML file also suggests which rumored products we shouldn’t expect to be revealed later today. Most conspicuous is the absence of new iPad Pro and Mac models, which history suggests will now appear at a separate October event.
There’s also the matter of Apple’s long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat, which likewise doesn’t feature in Apple’s sitemap, and that could be bad news for customers waiting on Apple to update its AirPods wireless earbuds.
With AirPower, Apple was supposed to be introducing a new AirPods Charging Case that adds wireless charging to the earbuds. But because the AirPower has taken so long to launch, the new case is now expected to feature in the next-generation model of AirPods – although Apple is also expected to sell that case on a standalone basis so customers who have already purchased AirPods can upgrade to it.
The new case looks similar to the current version, which charges via Lightning cable, but it has a built-in induction coil that also enables wireless charging.
In addition, rumors suggest that the new AirPods will have an upgraded wireless chip that supports hands-free “Hey Siri” functionality. With “Hey Siri” support, AirPod owners will be able to activate Siri without needing to double tap on the AirPods with a finger.
No other major changes are expected for the new AirPods, but there have been some hints that Apple is working on a set of Apple-branded high-end over-ear headphones that could launch in late 2018 at the earliest, although today’s leaks suggest only a brief mention of them today at best.
Apple’s event kicks off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, Cupertino, California. Apple plans to live stream proceeding on its website and through the Events app on the Apple TV, while MacRumors will have live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
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