Apple’s highly anticipated AirPods did not ship in time for the holiday season, and no explanation has been giving by the company, other than saying they’re not ready.
Now, unnamed sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal claim to know the reason for the delay. One person said the issue is related to how each AirPod receives independent signals from an iOS, Mac or Apple device:
Apple must ensure that both earpieces receive audio at the same time to avoid distortion, the person familiar with their development said. That person said Apple also must resolve what happens when a user loses one of the earpieces or the battery dies.
Regular Bluetooth headphones have signals transmitted to one earpiece, which then sends a signal to the other side—but AirPods handle signals independently.
“We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready,” an Apple spokeswoman said. “We need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers.”
Analyst Neil Cybart, founder of Above Avalon said, “If you’re wearing these things and they’re losing connection, that’s a problem.” He also added “You won’t find too many people faulting them for making sure it’s correct.”
Having AirPods not ship as expected is definitely bad news for Apple, however there’s no point in shipping a product that’s not ready. If Apple did not set expectations of an October release, this may not be a big issue. If they said AirPods are coming in 2017, we wouldn’t even be talking about the delay (remember how long we had to wait for Apple Watch?).
AirPods will cost $219 CAD ($159 USD) and will seamlessly pair with your iOS device thanks to its embedded W1 chip. Last month, reports from China noted AirPods would not be released until January 2017. Time to keep on waiting, folks.