Apple launches new Pride-themed watch bands amid rumours about new AirPods Pro 2

The new Apple Watch Pride watch face and band
The company has supported the LGBTQ+ community with Pride products for seven years. Photo credit: Supplied / Apple

Apple has announced the launch of new Pride Edition bands to continue its support of LGTBQ+ advocacy organisations around the world.

The new loops, as well as an additional watchface, are part of the Cupertino-based organisation's ongoing commitment to the community, which is now in its seventh year, it said.

The Pride Edition Sport Loop was created by members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community working at Apple and used a new technique to remove some of the textile loops so the word 'pride' can be displayed.

The cursive writing is inspired by the original 'hello' greeting seen on the first Macintosh in 1984.

According to the company, the colours used incorporate the original rainbow colours with those drawn from various pride flags, including light blue, pink and white, representing transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, and black and brown, symbolising Black and Latinx communities.

The colours also represent those who are living with or have passed away from HIV/AIDS.

The new 'Pride Threads' watch face brings together colours that represent the strength and mutual support of the LGBTQ+ movement, mirroring the woven loops of the Sports Loop.

The colourful threads morph to create the time and respond to the movement of your wrist, the company said. 

It also uses new App Clip functionality within the band packaging to deliver a simple way for customers to immediately access the new matching watch face.

Apple launches new Pride-themed watch bands amid rumours about new AirPods Pro 2
Photo credit: Supplied / Apple

A new Pride Edition Nike sport loop is also being launched.

The colourful new loops will cost NZ$79 each and are available to order today. The new face is available now for Apple Watch Series 4 or later, running watchOS 8.6, and iPhone 6s or later running iOS 15.5.

Other tech-focused organisations, like PlayStation, Xbox and more also support June's Pride month.

Meanwhile Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a new iteration of the company's AirPods Pro earbuds will enter "mass production" in the second half of his year.

According to Kuo, the AirPods Pro 2 will be manufactured in Vietnam, instead of China due to a better production environment.

AirPods Pro 2 will enter mass production in Vietnam in 2H22, a successful case of mass production of Apple's major products outside China.

Those hoping for an early indication that Apple might more fully embrace USB-C are likely to be disappointed, Kuo said.

He predicts the charging case for the new AirPods will still use Apple's Lightning cable and not the more widely used USB-C standard.

Back in January Kuo predicted the new buds would launch in the last three months of the year and would look slightly different to the current version, as well as support Apple's Lossless ALAC format for audio.

Mark Gurman, who writes about Apple for Bloomberg, has also suggested the Airpods Pro 2 will have a shorter stem plus new motion sensors for health and fitness tracking.