Apple is likely to release a USB-C charging case for AirPods Pro alongside the launch of the iPhone 15 lineup this fall, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.
Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said the shift was in line with the same switch from Lightning to USB-C that is expected to happen across the iPhone 15 series this year.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported in March that Apple would release a second-generation AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case later this year. Kuo said it was unclear if any other hardware changes are planned for AirPods Pro in 2023. Gurman’s report suggests not.
Meanwhile on the software side, Gurman said Apple is developing a new hearing test feature for AirPods Pro that is designed to detect possible hearing issues. The new hearing test feature, which is coming in addition to other AirPods features arriving as part of iOS 17, will “play different tones and sounds to allow the AirPods to determine how well a person can hear,” said the Bloomberg reporter.
Looking further ahead, Gurman also reiterated previous rumors that Apple is working on developing additional health sensors for future generations of AirPods. One is the ability to read body temperature from the ear canal, a method believed to be more accurate than reading temperature from the wrist, which is what Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra models do while users sleep.
Separately, Gurman says Apple is exploring how it could better position AirPods as a hearing aid by building on existing features like Conversation Boost and Live Listen. Neither feature has regulatory approval yet, but the FDA last year eased hearing aid purchase rules, which has reportedly spurred Apple to hire engineers from traditional hearing aid makers and take advantage of the opening in the market.
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