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Save $10 and get 3rd-gen AirPods without a MagSafe Case for reasons

AirPods 3 lying on table out of charging case
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Apple announced a ton of new products today, but one of them has taken many by surprise. You can now buy a pair of AirPods 3 earbuds without the MagSafe case, choosing instead to charge using Lightning. You'll save $10 by making that decision.

Buying a pair of AirPods 3 would normally set you back $179 and you'd get the MagSafe case thrown in as part of the deal. That case also supports charging via Lightning of course, but now you can pay $169 and lose the MagSafe option.

Why?

That's a good question. Apple didn't make a big announcement of the change, instead choosing to bury it at the bottom of the new AirPods Pro 2 press release (opens in new tab).

"AirPods (3rd generation) with Lightning Charging Case are now available for $169 (US,)" the note reads. "AirPods (3rd generation) with MagSafe Charging Case remain available for $179 (US.)"

It isn't immediately clear why Apple has taken to make this available because, at first blush, the $10 difference doesn't constitute a huge discount. The second generation AirPods are still available at the $129 price point they filled before today's event, too.

The big news today was of course the arrival of the iPhone 14 lineup as well as the new Apple Watch Ultra, but there were also new AirPods Pro announced as well. They feature a new H2 chip and promise active noise cancelation and Transparency mode improvements compared to the outgoing model.

Apple's Far Out event also saw Apple announce a refreshed Apple Watch SE as well as a new Apple Watch Series 8, too. You can recap everything that went down on our live blog, with some of the new products already available for pre-order.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.