(TL;DR? Skip to the takeaways at the bottom.) In other threads lots of people, myself included, have been speculating about AirPower and Apple’s plans based on the manufacture dates of the new AirPods and the inclusion of wording/imagery of AirPower on the boxes. The argument is that some of these new AirPods show manufacture dates of August, and that Apple therefore has likely being delaying their release in the hope AirPower would soon be ready so they can be released at the same time. But while browsing the iFixit tear down I noticed that the new AirPods include serial numbers etched on the buds themselves, not just on the case as they were previously. These serials numbers are different to the one on the box/charging case. On one of my AirPods with wireless case, the case has a serial number like this (slightly edited for privacy): GKXX9XXXJMMT Decoding that, GK is the factory, X9 refers to week 35 of 2018 (August 27-September 2), and JMMT is the model identifier. But the serial number of the left AirPod is like: GKXY8XXXJJNV Indicating a week 8 of 2019 manufacture. And the right is: GKXY9XXXJJNW Indicating a week 9 of 2019 manufacture. I have other new AirPods and the story is the same albeit with slightly different dates. Some takeaways from this: Despite showing serial numbers from 2018 on the box, these new AirPods cannot have been packaged back then because the buds contained in them weren’t manufactured until a few weeks ago. This means Apple was shrink-wrapping boxes with AirPower branding on just WEEKS ago. Why would they do this? This implies AirPower has literally only just been cancelled internally. Why have cases been sat around in warehouses for months with no buds to go in them? Could this mean that Apple was initially planning on releasing a wireless case for the AirPods, but no actual new AirPods? Maybe these are the rumoured ‘true second gen’, and not the v1.5 people have been talking about, after all. If you want to check your AirPods’ date of birth, http://www.chipmunk.nl/cgi-fast/applemodel.cgi will assist you.