An artist’s rendition of the rumor.
Photo: Harrison Weber (Gizmodo)

With the massive success of Apple’s AirPods, reports about a new pair of premium, wireless earbuds and over-the-ear headphones arriving in 2019 already seem like a forgone conclusion. However, if a report from the Nikkei is true, the future of Apple’s AirPods might not be as obvious as we thought.

That’s because, according to Nikkei’s industry sources in Taiwan, Apple may release a new charging case for the AirPods as soon as this year that could not only recharge itself wirelessly, but also send wireless power to an iPhone to help top off the handset whenever it gets low on juice.

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Last fall, during the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple teased AirPods owners with images of a wireless charging case for its earbuds along with a new proprietary charging mat that could recharge an Apple Watch, an iPhone, and AirPods all at the same time. However, after more than nine months, neither the case nor anything related to Apple’s AirPower tech has been released.

Although the idea of resting an iPhone on an AirPod case to charge might seem (and look) a bit awkward right now, the idea makes a lot of sense. There’s already a battery inside an AirPod case, and if Apple is planning on adding wireless charging functionality to it, why not let that battery recharge other things besides just the earbuds?

If a new AirPod charging case does come out this year, there’s a good chance Apple would announce it alongside new iPhones at the company’s annual fall product event. That said, after not seeing anything about AirPower or other Apple wireless charging tech in more than nine months, I’ll believe the rumors about this wild wireless charging case when I see it.

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[Nikkei Asian Review]