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airpods talking

Apple AirPods Are Coming, But So Is Christmas and President Trump

No one really knows when Apple will release these headphones
November 17, 2016

Apple will eventually get around to releasing the company’s new truly wireless AirPods. When that occurs is now up to much debate.

Could Nov. 30 be the day?

Could Nov. 30 be the day?

Credit: Fnac

Recent reports offer conflicting release dates for the Apple AirPods, first announced on Sept. 7.

Mac4Ever reports on this Thursday, Nov. 17, that French retail website Fnac is now offering AirPods for pre-order with a suggested ship date of Wednesday, Nov. 30. This date would obviously miss Black Friday (Nov. 25) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) but would be early enough for the headphones to make a sizable mark during the broader holiday shopping season.

Last week, Barclays said that Apple wouldn’t begin production on the AirPods until December. The bank claimed the first run would be “fairly small,” numbering somewhere around 10 to 15 million units. If this report is correct, the AirPods would likely miss the holidays since the first shipments probably wouldn’t arrive until late December or early January.

Also last week, China-based Economic Daily News, via Digitimes, reported that the earphones wouldn’t hit the market until January 2017. That report was quickly shot down as bogus.

In summary

I’m starting to think that these reports have each been correct, at least at the time they were published. The continued uncertainty suggests that Apple is having a hard time producing the headphones, which were announced 10 weeks ago during the iPhone 7 event.

When the $159 headphones were officially announced, Apple said they would arrive in late October. On Oct. 26, Apple announced a delay saying “we need a little more time.” They didn’t mention whether hardware or software issues were behind the delay.