The Apple AirPods were announced back at WWDC but have since experienced a number of delays with the estimated shipping date constantly changing.
Apple since clarified the delay and that it just needed a little more time before releasing the product for customers but the actual reason was never disclosed.
While the exact reason for the delay remains unclear, a person that is familiar with the development of AirPods told The Wall Street Journal that Apple’s delay was down to quality control. More specifically, the issue seems to be related to its “efforts to chart a new path for wireless headphones”.
A person familiar with the development of the AirPod said the trouble appears to stem from Apple’s effort to chart a new path for wireless headphones. In most other wireless headphones, only one earpiece receives a signal from the phone via wireless Bluetooth technology; it then transmits the signal to the other earpiece.
Apple has said AirPod earpieces each receive independent signals from an iPhone, Mac or other Apple device. But 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.
Apple seem to have had difficulty in figuring out how to handle a situation where only one AirPod is in use and also keeping both earphones in sync.
Tim Cook has already seemingly confirmed that the AirPods would be shipping in the next few weeks but expect quantities to be extremely limited. It’s still very unlikely that the AirPods will launch in time for the holidays as the wireless earphones remain listed as coming soon on the Apple website. However, it would appear that if the issues have been identified by Apple that they are working on resolving it and could see the AirPods launch soon.
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