Sketchy Rumor Claims AirPods 2, AirPower and New iPads to Launch on March 29
Apple plans to hold a product event in the second half of March where it will officially announce second-generation AirPods, the AirPower wireless charging pad, a new affordable iPad and the so-called "iPad mini 5", according to the latest rumor.
The claim comes courtesy of Greek tech news site iphonehellas.gr [Google Translate], which says it has received "exclusive information" from "a reliable source through Apple's production chain in China" that pre-orders for the AirPods 2, AirPower, and new iPads will start on Friday, March 22 with shipping and in-store sales to begin a week later on Friday, 29 March.
In a separate post to Slashleaks, the same author of the iPhoneHellas rumor claims the Apple special event will take place sometime between March 11 and March 20.
Apple has held a number of special events in March in recent years, with the last one taking place in 2018 on March 29, when it announced a low-cost iPad 9.7-inch with Apple Pencil support. The earliest Apple event in the month of March took place way back in 2011 on March 2, so there's plenty of room for maneuver.
iPhoneHellas goes back several years and has occasionally offered correct information on iOS releases ahead of their launch, although that's not necessarily any indicator of the accuracy of this latest rumor, so at this point we'd advise taking it with at least a pinch of salt.
Rumors have long suggested Apple is planning to introduce second-generation AirPods with an improved wireless chip that will enable voice-activated "Hey Siri" functionality. A recent rumor from DigiTimes suggests the second-generation AirPods will appear in early 2019 and could also include "health monitoring" features, but there are no concrete details on just what functions might be included.
AirPower is a charging mat designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch, and the AirPods, using a specially designed and as-of-yet unreleased wireless compatible AirPods Charging Case.
Apple announced AirPower in September 2017 and said at the time that it would launch sometime in 2018, but the end of 2018 came and went, and Apple has given no further official info on when the AirPower will debut.
A recent rumor from Apple's supply chain in China has suggested the manufacturing issues have been solved. AirPower was said to have entered mass production in late January, with Apple planning to release it sometime soon.
Though the iPad mini hasn't been updated since September 2015, rumors have suggested an "iPad mini 5" is in the works and could come during the first half of 2019. Apple in January registered seven new iPad models with the Eurasian Economic Commission, and at least some of these are believed to be the iPad mini. The others may be a new version of the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.