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Apple Delays AirPods Beyond Original 'Late October' Window (arstechnica.com) 77

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Apple's new wireless, $180 AirPods have less than a week to meet their original shipping target of "late October," and now the company has confirmed that such a launch is officially off the table. A Wednesday statement, given to Ars Technica just one day ahead of the company's latest Mac-related press event, confirmed Apple's decision to delay the wireless headphones' launch. In the statement, Apple tells Ars that the company "needs a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers." "The early response to AirPods has been incredible," the Apple statement reads. "We don't believe in shipping a product before it's ready." Apple declined to offer any estimate or release window information about when to expect the AirPods' official launch.
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Apple Delays AirPods Beyond Original 'Late October' Window

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  • Courage (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @08:32PM (#53158763)
    Timmy needs to find the courage to get his supply chain under control.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ASDFnz ( 472824 )

      Yeah, he should just shove things through whether they are ready or not, Samsung did do just that and they haven't had a problem yet right?

      I am not really trying to defend Apple, I am just pointing out that unless something is ready the end user experience can be flammable at times.

      • Are you seriously implying that Apple announced a product would be on the market the next month without having the design done and production well underway?

        You really think they would expect to finish a design, get it produced in China and into customers hands in America in six weeks?

        There is now shoving though, it was done on September 1st. This delay is a 100% manufacturing and logistics f-up. And that was supposed to be Timmy's specialty as the former COO and chief bean counter. If the idiot can
        • by ASDFnz ( 472824 )

          You are guessing what the problem is, you actually have no idea.

          I don't know either but I wont pretend to. For all you know it might be a battery issue that causes them to burst into flames, late production problems happen so who knows.

          • That's a fair point but this isn't Kickstarter we're talking about, it's Apple. Knowing the market as they do, you would have expected final production to be underway before the announcement.

            I'm not being particularly critical - as long as Apple can supply in time for Christmas all will be well.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Is that conjecture or known fact? Because I conjecture - clear speculation - that it went something more like this. We know that reviewers have had the "pre-production" units in their hands for daily use for more than a month. Those reviewers have been constrained from actually reviewing yet, but have shown that they have them in public and in videos. They probably gave Apple feedback like "falls out of your ears when running; would not buy" or the like. And of course Apple, wary of another "you're holding
    • What battery tech is in these devices you stick in your ear? Did they choose Lithium Ion?

      • Re: Courage (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @10:45PM (#53159179)

        I know first hand. The battery tech isn't completed. Right now, the prototype EarPods only last 15 minutes. The right EarPod with the controller and button lasts only 10 minutes. These also heat up quite a bit during discharge specifically with phone calls.

        We were hoping the new battery tech would be ready lipo2 but the fast charge capabilities of the battery greatly reduce the endurance.

        We are now trying a much slower charging lithium ion tech but requires a change in the weight and form factor.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It's got to be lithium, nothing else will get you the energy density and form factor. At least you have to remove them from your body before charging them. Lots of people charge their phones in their pockets from a second lithium battery.

    • Re:Courage (Score:4, Funny)

      by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @03:04AM (#53159855)
      No problem. Just fall back on your wir.....Oh yeah.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's really unfortunate that the iPhone doesn't have an alternative to minijack for wired headphones. The fact that the Air Pods were going to be the first bluetooth headphones ever makes things even worse.

        At least Apple should have included an adapter or something with the new iPhone.

  • Amazing that the richest company in the world can't coordinate product launches with each other. Yet AI and self-driving cars are right around the corner and we are going to colonize Mars soon. Right?
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The really great staff now have to look after the average new staff. With less of the really great staff getting real work done, issues start to be seen in public.
    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

      Yet AI and self-driving cars are right around the corner and we are going to colonize Mars soon. Right?

      Still obsessed with Mars eh?

      Who says AI is right around the corner? Depends what AI you mean. Nobody with intelligence is saying strong AI is around the corner. AI like Watson is already here. Self-driving cars are already here.

      Apple can't get their wireless ear buds in time for launch with phone? I'll just file that one under D for DGAF. Doesn't really prove anything wider to be honest.

  • An idea for Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bueller_007 ( 535588 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @08:50PM (#53158839)

    Next time you feel like doing something brash, like removing a ubiquitous, standardized, and completely functional feature from your products, such as the headphone jack in order to promote wireless listening, why don't you go ahead and make the Bluetooth headphones available FIRST?

    Or better yet, don't eliminate the jack at all. This isn't the 3.5" floppy in the age of CDs that we're talking about here. The headphone jack works well, it's standard, and it's on literally almost EVERYTHING that outputs sound.

    And now Apple is set to announce tomorrow that its professional line of laptops will be moving completely to USB-C.

    This company has lost its way and its mind.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Next time you feel like doing something brash, like removing a ubiquitous, standardized, and completely functional feature from your products, such as the headphone jack in order to promote wireless listening, why don't you go ahead and make the Bluetooth headphones available FIRST?

      Bluetooth headphones have literally been available for years. These are just the first Apple-branded bluetooth earphones. iPhone 7s come with Lightning Earpods in the box, and you have the option of using any of the thousand

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @09:32PM (#53158989)

        And yet iPhones users have been buying/using 3.5mm corded headphones by the hundreds of millions, WHILE bluetooth has been available.

        For something soooooo superior, you'd think no one would be using corded headphones.

        Yet another device to plug in, and other synced devices to pull away the iPhone from your bluetooth headphones. That simply means it's not ready yet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Maritz ( 1829006 )

        Bluetooth headphones have literally been available for years.

        Bluetooth headphones are shit.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Bluetooth headphones are shit.

          I've owned several bluetooth headphones over the past 10 years that sound just as good as wired. It's not the sound quality that the problem, it's the price.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget, Apple will also be eliminating the Escape key from their Professional laptop line as well.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This company has lost its way and its mind.

      You can thank the SJWs; they're toxic.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Bluetooth headphones have been available for over a decade.

      Or since you are complaining about a lack of tiny earbud headphones, you could use the wired headphones of the exact same form factor that are included free in the box.

      Or you can take any superior headphones using the standard 3.5mm connector, which as a separate thing you are already carrying around, connect the included free in the box lightning adapter to them and still continue to have only one separate thing to carry around, and plug those in

      • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

        Complaining about a lack of Bluetooth headphones on the market is just silly.

        Anyone who cares about audio and has tried Bluetooth headphones knows that audio on BT is fucking shite.

        It's fun to see all the mental gymnastics of people though. Keep going.

        • > audio on BT is fucking shite.

          Yeah. And if you were even a pretend audiophile, you'd be making the same complaint about:

          1) mp3/AAC audio files (lossy compression)
          2) Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, or any other streaming service (lossy compression plus buffering and internet streaming artifacts)
          3) The cheap little D/A chipset that's compact and low-power enough to fit in any phone. (Not isolated enough from other electronics to prevent artifacts)
          4) The cheap little amp circuit that's compact and low-pow

    • The headphone jack works well, it's standard, and it's on literally almost EVERYTHING that outputs sound.

      And it's better quality. The limitations with Bluetooth mean it has to be compressed. So in true Apple fashion, it cost more, does less.

  • That's why I didn't see reports of AirPods being lost.

  • by HumanEmulator ( 1062440 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @06:37AM (#53160325)

    My theory is that the headphones are ready, but Apple is worried that when people realize Bluetooth headphones are fundamentally unreliable, it will hurt iPhone 7 sales. Better to wait until further into the holiday shopping season and prevent any bad press or YouTube videos from impacting phone sales, then drop the headphones closer to the holidays so bad reviews haven't had time to sink into the public consciousness to hurt the gift-giving headphone sales.

    It's not that I think these are going to be bad headphones, as much as Bluetooth headphones just don't work a lot of places and a lot of people are going to be disappointed.

  • The airpods aren't delayed because they're not ready, Apple simply lost them.
  • $180 for earphones that will (sooner or later) die because the battery degrades? Seriously?

    Wow, the "sucker market" is way bigger than I realized. This makes my helium-filled anchor look downright silly.

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