Chinese media outlet Economic Daily News is reporting that Inventec is already producing a new version of AirPods with a different exterior material for the earbuds and charging case, as well as a black color option.

The report indicates that they will go on sale in the spring alongside the AirPower wireless charging mat. EDN says the new AirPods are expected to boost Inventec’s first quarter earnings, as the publication has a supply chain focus.

If you are getting de ja vu reading those claims, then you are not alone. The claims of a new coating and black color option mirror closely to what MySmartPrice reported earlier this week.

Although we can’t be sure as the report is in Chinese, Economic Daily News appears to be reporting the same information independently … so now we have two semi-sketchy sources saying the same thing. It’s reasonable to say we have yet to reach a real consensus of rumors, with conflicting reports about release times seemingly popping up every other day.

EDN does not specify the attributes of the new coating. The earlier MySmartPrice story described it as ‘grippier’, perhaps similar to the Apple Pencil 2 matte finish.

It’s not clear if new spring AirPods are truly ‘second-generation’ with new features like Hey Siri or better water resistance, or if the changes are mostly cosmetic. Plus, the addition of the wireless charging case to go along with the (reported) debut of AirPower.

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About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.