Apple’s delay in bringing their wireless AirPods earphones, originally slated to hit shelves in October, to market is said to be caused by 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.
It was reported last month that analysts believed the new EarPods would go into mass production this month, with production limited to 10 to 15 million units to start. Since then, an alleged email from Apple CEO Tim Cook said AirPods should begin shipping in the “next few weeks.”
There are only a few weeks left in the all-important holiday season, so Apple may hold delivery back until January 2017, as has been suggested by other reports.