Those who go to the Apple Store listing page for the AirPods will see the wireless earbuds priced at $159.99 with a 4-week waiting period for shipping. The lucky few who were able to make a quick dash to Apple’s online store were able to order with guaranteed delivery by December 19th. Within an hour, that delivery window had slipped to late December. And now, customers are looking at a month-long wait.
While Apple has not officially confirmed what caused the AirPods delay (they were originally slated to ship in October), a recent report suggested that there were last-minute issues discovered with its Bluetooth implementation. In traditional Bluetooth headsets and earbuds, a solitary audio stream is sent to one earpiece, which is then relayed to the other. AirPods are capable of receiving two simultaneous audio streams (one for each earbud) which is meant to reduce distortion and improve audio quality.
So, while there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel for the AirPods, Apple today confirmed that the Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX wireless earphones have been delayed until February. Rumors of the delay first started swirling yesterday.
While some may see delays as a normal course of business for tech companies, the troubles with getting products like the AirPods and BeatsX fly in the face of Apple’s “courage” to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple championed a wireless future with the iPhone 7 family, but its own-branded Bluetooth products that are supposed to complement its flagship smartphone have been hard to obtain.