The long-awaited Apple AirPods finally went on sale yesterday, but you won’t be able to snag a pair before Christmas anymore.
When the Apple AirPods initially went live on the online Apple Store yesterday afternoon, they were available for free delivery by Monday, December 19 – just in time for seasonal shoppers to make a purchase. But today, the dispatch time has been updated to four weeks, which means you won’t be able to get a pair of Apple AirPods until January at the earliest.
That’s sure to leave a sour taste in the mouths of anyone who’s been eagerly awaiting the headphones. After all, when Apple’s wireless earbuds were announced back in September, would-be customers were told that stock would become available as soon as October. But the AirPods were subject to mysterious delays, and didn’t go on sale until December.
The shipping delays seem ironic, after an AppleInsider report from November quotes an Apple corporate source as saying there was “no way” Apple would miss a holiday season release for the headphones. Well, the release was on target, but many customers won’t be able to get their buds in time.
Worse still, Apple AirPods are now being sold by third-parties on eBay for jacked up prices, with opportunistic offers of “delivery before Christmas”. We found several pairs of AirPods being sold for £499, which is over three times Apple’s asking price of £159.
It’s worth noting that if you ordered your AirPods while the date read ‘December 19’, you should still receive your earbuds in time for Christmas.
Apple announced the wireless Bluetooth AirPods on September 7, alongside the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2. The headphones were highly controversial at the time, with many customers bemoaning the quirky design and high price tag. To make matters worse, Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, which some customers saw as a possible ploy to boost AirPods sales – they don’t need a 3.5mm jack to connect, of course.
The headphones are powered by a custom-built Apple W1 chip, and make use of optical sensors and an accelerometer to work out when they’re in your ears. Apple promises a 5-hour battery life when listening to music, and supplies a charging case with the AirPods that holds multiple chargers to give you “more than 24 hours of listening time”. And Apple reckons just 15 minutes in the case will give you three hours of listening time too.
“AirPods will forever change the way you use headphones,” writes Apple. “Whenever you pull your AirPods out of the charging case, they instantly turn on and connect to your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac.”
Each AirPod weighs just four grams, and features dual beam-forming microphones that isolate your voice from background noise when taking a call or using Siri.
If you’ve managed to snag a pair of AirPods already, you’ll need to make sure you have a compatible Apple device: iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 10 or later, Apple Watch with watchOS 3 or later, or Mac with macOS Sierra or later.
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