AirPods 2: Is a Wireless Buds Refresh Being Held Hostage by AirPower?

Sending out an S.O.S.

The sun has once again set on a potential AirPods 2 launch in 2018. Apple announced an iPad Pro overhaul along with some more subtle updates to the MacBook Air and Mac mini, but fans of the company’s wireless buds were left high and dry.

It’s been over two years since the release of the AirPods and it could be many more months until a new, upgraded set sees the light of day. This is because the earbuds’ fate could be tied to the fabled AirPower, which has reportedly been bedeviled by a myriad of design issues. This has turned the wireless charging mat into a hyped product with no release date in sight — like Apple’s Half-Life 3 — and the AirPods 2 are being held hostage.

Credible rumors surrounding both devices have stated that they will be released sometime in 2019. Apple scoop master Mark Gurman and trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo both predict that an AirPods sequel could be here in the first quarter of next year. It seems like this could also be the case for the AirPower, since it didn’t launch during Apple’s Tuesday product announcement.

The AirPods 2 are the final piece of the AirPower puzzle.

What Feature Upgrades Could Be Coming to AirPods?

All of the chatter surrounding AirPods 2 suggest they might be noise-canceling and come with a wireless charging case. When Apple teased the AirPower, it showed an animated video of the pad charging an iPhone, Apple Watch, and an AirPods case. Since both the Apple Watch and iPhones support wireless charging, the AirPods are the final point of the tech triangle the AirPower is supposed to be be able to charge.

Apple integrated wireless charging into their smartwatches and handsets in 2017 and have since been advertising third-party Qi-chargers on their site. But the absence of its own flagship wireless charger has resulted in the company losing ground in the wireless charging market, while other companies like Google and Samsung have released their own proprietary charing stands.

So far, it’s looking bad for the AirPower. That’s mostly because Apple made such a big deal about it, only to find out that it was harder to build than they thought. Simultaneously launching the charger and the AirPods 2 could inspire customers to pick up the AirPower along with the buds.

Bundling the much-delayed device with a more beloved product might help Apple to save some face. But seeing as the company isn’t even including dongles with their products anymore, this might be too much to ask for. In any event, don’t expect to get the AirPower or AirPods 2 before the holidays, 2019 will likely be the year Apple escalates its campaign to go totally wireless.

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