It’s almost time for Apple’s annual unveiling of its latest and greatest iPhones, including such typical improvements as faster processors, souped-up cameras, and sleeker chassis. But one of the biggest iPhone changes this year centers on the handset’s humble but critical charging port, and it’s a change that’s likely coming to Apple’s AirPods line, too.
Indeed, we’re expecting at least one AirPods model to make an appearance at Apple’s September event tomorrow, complete with a charging case that jettisons the increasingly outdated Lightning port.
But what about Apple’s other home and personal entertainment products? Will we see new HomePods, HomePod minis, or Apple TV models at Apple’s iPhone event tomorrow? Here’s what we’ve heard.
Apple AirPods Pro
The latest word is that we will see a new version of Apple’s AirPods Pro at Apple’s September event on Tuesday, but don’t expect a major revamp.
Instead, the scuttlebutt has it that the new AirPods Pro will arrive with a redesigned charging case that substitutes a USB-C charging port for the old Lightning port.
That change would bring the AirPods Pro in line with new European standards that require standardized USB-C charging for consumer electronics products, hence the changeover to USB-C on the latest iPhone modes.
Just don’t expect any other substantial changes to the AirPods Pro, given that the current second-generation version arrived only a year ago.
Update 9/12/2023: Here’s what Apple announced about the new USB-C charging case for the AirPods Pro, including a couple of interesting surprises about the new hardware.
Apple AirPods Max
The AirPods Max are three years old now, and the appetite for a new version was recently whetted by the new Beats Studio Pro, which boasts many of the same features (plus a smoother path to wired lossless audio) at a lower price point.
But while it might seem time for a second-generation version of the AirPods Max to make its debut, rumors of a new version have been disappointingly few and far between.
It’s certainly possible that a second-generation AirPods Max could arrive next year or in 2025. Some of the features on the wish list for the new AirPods Max include high-resolution or even lossless streaming over Bluetooth (or more smoothly via a wired connection), an upgraded H2 chip plus Apple’s ultra-wideband U1 chip (already present in the second-gen AirPods Pro), and redesigned ear cups that don’t generate as much sweat.
HomePod and HomePod mini
One HomePod model that we can safely say we won’t see tomorrow is the full-size version, given that the second-generation HomePod made its debut at the beginning of the year.
So what about the HomePod mini? It’s been three years since the smaller HomePod arrived on the scene, so it might seem like high time that the second-gen HomePod mini saw daylight.
But that’s not what we’re hearing, or at least not in terms of Apple’s September iPhone event. As with the AirPods Max, there’s been very little buzz about a new HomePod mini. At least the current version has received a number of key updates over the past several months.
Apple has been releasing new models of the Apple TV 4K at a fairly rapid clip over the past few years, including new versions in 2019, 2021, and last year.
The third-generation Apple TV 4K arrived last October in 64GB and 128GB flavors, with the latter boasting an ethernet port.
But there’s no chatter about a new Apple TV for 2023, and given that it’s been barely a year since the last version arrived, we’ve pretty sure we won’t see a new Apple TV box on Tuesday.