The saga of Apple’s wireless AirPods continues as we’re hearing conflicting information about when the device will hit the market. Just yesterday, a report said the earphones could make an appearance as early as next week. But a new note from investment bank Barclays is telling a different story.
A 'fairly small' first run
The bank says that the device will enter production sometime next month in limited quantities – somewhere around 10 to 15 million units. The note says that’s a “fairly small” first run.
If correct, that means could lead to two different scenarios. First, the AirPods might not hit the market until January 2017 as previously reported. Or they could arrive very late in the holiday shopping season and be extremely hard to come by, much like a new iPhone model after launch.
When officially unveiled back in September with the iPhone 7, Apple said the AirPods would arrive in late October. But just a few days before the end of the month, Apple announced a delay saying “we need a little more time.” Apple didn’t state whether hardware or software issues were behind the delay.
With any Apple device, the AirPods will automatically connect. No pairing is needed.
The $159 AirPods have no wires and are charged in a small case. Featuring Apple’s W1 wireless chip, Apple says you can listen up to 5 hours of music before needing to recharge the earphones. The case can provide up to 24 hours of music playback. Fifteen minutes of charging can provide up to three hours of music in a pinch.
Instead of needing to go through a pairing process, the AirPods can connect automatically to all Apple devices including an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.
The W1 chip powers two Beats-branded devices already on the market – the Powerbeats 3 Wireless Earphones and the Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones.