Apple is now selling a new set of Special Edition AirPod Pros (via 9to5Mac) in time for the Chinese New Year, which begins on February 1, 2022. Much like the previous year of the Ox, Apple engraves a special emoji on the AirPods Pro case, this time themed around the Year of the Tiger.
At first glance, it seems like only the standard tiger emoji is on the case – but it turns out it’s just a little more stylish with sparkles and fireworks surrounding the tiger face topped with ‘a cute tiger face hood. Other than that, the only other difference is that the retail box has the same emoji in red on the sides.
The new Special Edition AirPods Pro – Tiger (the official name) is available to order now in several Asian markets including Hong Kong (with a significant order delay until May 1 at the time of writing), where it sells for HK $ 1,999 ($ 256.38).
Apple is also to give free red envelopes with gold embossing of different Chinese zodiac emojis – all wearing the same tiger hood. It’s a cute addition for those who traditionally donate cash for the New Year’s celebration, but is only available if purchased from an Apple Store that sells the Special Edition AirPods.
While people in markets like the US may feel left out – you can just order regular AirPods Pro and get a free tiger emoji engraving … it’s really not that different. The existence of these annual special editions is perhaps a literal product of wooing the Chinese market – a country that Apple has historically had to bow to to stay competitive.
Apple’s Beats by Dre brand has also released a pair of new Beats Studio Buds, featuring the case adorned with tribal-style gold tiger stripes on a classic Beats red body. The stripes continue on the buds themselves, unlike the standard fare buds that come with the Special Edition AirPods Pro.