Apple could announce second-generation AirPods along with other products and accessories at a special media event which should take place in March, but the new earbuds may not go on sale until later in the year.
As for a Qi-enabled wireless charging case for the original AirPods, it should be both announced and made available for purchase in March.
This was reported by Twitter account OnLeaks, citing a yet unconfirmed but seemingly reliable source. AirPods 2 should be released in multiple colors. OnLeaks has offered reliable information in the past regarding Apple corroborated rumors and unreleased products, including the 2018 iPad Pro redesign.
Pre-announcing a product only to release it at a later stage, sometimes the next year, is nothing new for Apple. The reasoning here is that the AirPower multi-device charging mat will finally go on sale in March and Apple has advertised it with promotional images showing simultaneous charging of an iPhone, a watch and an AirPods case.
The current AirPods charging case supported only wired charging through the built-in Lightning port. Having a Qi-enabled case for the first-generation AirPods available at the AirPower launch is a prudent decision that should help push the wireless charging accessory.
When the AirPods 2 revision launches, it will almost certainly ship with the included Qi wireless charging case. And speculating further, there’s a high likelihood that the next AirPods are coming in the fall ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.