(last updated on 03.05.23)
While making custom ready-to-go USB-C AirPods Pro for customers of my shop, I had to crack open dozens of cases. Everything was going fine, until I broke one. I ripped a part of the Wireless charger off (the Magsafe NFC chip). It seemed like it was glued to the middle frame, which was not the case for the other AirPods I opened. A few pair of AirPods later, it happened again… That case had the same drop of glue on the Wireless charger flex cable, essentially making it impossible to open without breaking it. If you break it, the wireless charger stops working AND the pairing bouton. So your case is toast.
I went back through all the cases to look for a pattern, and I found one! The two that were “impossible” (for now) to repair/open were “Assembled in Vietnam”. So it seems like the Vietnamese factory adds glue differently than the Chinese factory. But it is not all Vietnamese AirPods Pro, here is a guide to check if your pair is affected:
Behind the case, right above the pairing bouton, there is some text saying “Assembled in …“:
- “Assembled in China”: Your case should be openable/repairable without too much risk, you can stop reading this page and go back to the instructions.
- “Assembled in Vietnam”: Continue reading to see if you’re affected.
Under the lid, you will find your model number. It should be A2190. Next to that, there should also be a string of 12 characters. This is your serial number. Look for the 4 last characters and compare them with this list:
- Last 4 characters are “0C6L” or “LKKT”. Your case is only Wireless, not Magsafe. It should be openable/repairable without too much risk, you can stop reading this page and go back to the instructions.
- Last 4 characters are “1NRC”. Your case is Magsafe. I have not encoutered Vietnamese cases with the serial ending. There is a chance that it has the same problem. Please contact me if you have a case like this.
- Last 4 characters are “1059”. Your case is Magsafe. Continue reading to see if you’re affected.
As far as I’m aware, there are two versions. If you have something else, please contact me. You need to look at the first two characters of your serial number:
- First 2 characters are “H1”. Your case should be openable/repairable without too much risk, you can stop reading this page and go back to the instructions.
- First 2 characters are “H2”. I got reports that those cases exist, yet I’m not sure if they are glued like “H1” or “H6”. To be safe, I would advise just getting a cheap used “Made in China” case. If you attempt to open it, please let me know!
- First 2 characters are “H6”. I’m sorry but this is the serial with the aforementionned problem. I would definitely not proceed if I was you. You could potentially get a cheap second-hand case on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay or a classified ads website in your country. Just ask the seller if it was “Assembled in China” and you should be fine. Then you can pair your AirPods buds with the new case and resell the old one.