When Apple announced its new AirPower charging mat accessory alongside the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X– the first iPhones to support wireless charging– it also casually mentioned that AirPods would get a new optional wireless charging case. But otherwise details have been slim. Can you use your old AirPods with the new charging case? Will you be able to buy the case separately or only bundled together with new AirPods? And should you hold off on buying AirPods until Apple reveals more details about the new charging case?
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We’ve since learned from those in the know that the case will indeed be sold separately, and that it’s designed to work with your current generation AirPods.
Even though the case will be sold separately allowing you to add the functionality to existing AirPods, it’s still of course possible and seems likely that Apple could sell the new case bundled together with AirPods.
How much the new charging case will cost remains to be seen. One rumor claimed it would come with a $69 US price tag, matching the replacement cost of the current AirPods case sans wireless charging capability. If that’s turns out to be true, it’s possible Apple could sell the case bundled with AirPods for the same $159 price of the current generation AirPods and perhaps replace the existing case entirely going forward.
Although the other possible scenario if the pricing rumor above is incorrect is that Apple sells the wireless charging version of the AirPods for a premium and continues selling the current gen version for less. Either way, if you happen to already have or pick up a pair of AirPods before the new charging case, you at least can rest assured that you will be able to purchase one separately when it’s released.
Apple won’t be launching its new AirPower charging mat until next year, and its website confirms the same for the wireless AirPods charging case. Since Apple said its AirPower accessory, which charges 3 devices simultaneously, can do some things current standards don’t support, it’s not entirely a given that AirPods charging case will support all Qi chargers and not just Apple’s accessory. Apple Watch Series 3 notably does not despite Apple’s adoption of the Qi standard on the new iPhones, but it will support the AirPower accessory (as pictured above from Apple’s iPhone event last week).
We noted that wireless charging was a long awaited but very welcomed update for the new iPhones in our review, and that Apple plans to roll out an update later this year to implement even faster wireless charging at 7.5W.