AirPods Production Said to Begin in December in Limited Quantities

Ever since Apple delayed the launch of its all-new AirPods beyond the late October timeframe it originally promised, saying it needed "a little more time" before they are ready for customers, there have been conflicting rumors about when the wireless earphones will actually be released.

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The latest word comes from investment bank Barclays, which in a research note we saw said AirPods should enter production in December. That means AirPods could still feasibly be released in time for the final weeks of the holiday shopping season, although a January 2017 launch as previously rumored, or later, is possible.

Barclays said the initial production run will be "fairly small," totaling between 10 million and 15 million AirPods to start. Depending on demand, the limited supply could result in a scenario where AirPods stock is quickly depleted upon launch, resulting in extended shipping estimates akin to a new iPhone launch.

Earlier this week, an employee at Apple reseller Conrad reportedly told a customer it will receive AirPods stock on November 17. As we noted at the time, it is entirely possible the employee provided inaccurate information. Apple lists AirPods as both "coming soon" and "currently unavailable" on different parts of its website.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Don't Buy)
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Top Rated Comments

Mac Fly (film) Avatar
99 months ago
Apple can't even ship a pair of head phones. RIP Steve
Jobs couldn't ship a white iPhone. RIP your memory.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
99 months ago
Wonder what the hold up is? These really should've been ready the same time as the iPhone 7
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
99 months ago
Apple can't even ship a pair of head phones. RIP Steve
Here comes the "Steve Jobs" comments, where he has zero influence on something we don't even know why they were delayed to begin with. Misfortunes happened under Steve too. But I'm sure it's easier using him as leverage for posts like this.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
needfx Avatar
99 months ago
This is really becoming a tease at this point
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Garsun Avatar
99 months ago
I wish my business had a small run of 10 million
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
99 months ago
Are you paid to write these comments? Seriously?

1. No inline controls.
These use Siri. No need for external buttons. All the controls for playing music, playlists, turning up and down volume etc. are there, with the additional features that no other earbuds have of doing something like 'play hits from 1985', or even getting directions like 'how do I get to the library?'

2. No noise isolation.
I don't know of ANY earbuds that do offer noise isolation.


3. No sweat/water resistance.
They are both sweat AND water resistant. Not sweat or water proof, but I don't know any that are.


4. Allegedly sound just a touch better than the terrible free headphones Apple gives away with iPhone's.
We don't know yet how they sound, but they won't be as good as over-the-ear headphones, but these aren't what these are. They COULD be the best in-ear buds, or the worst, we don't know. Don't purchase them until you've tried others to compare.


5. Hard plastic in your ear.
The horrors!

There are a lot of nice features too: like ACTUALLY no wires, automatic bluetooth pairing (which is a pain doing it manually), Siri integration, easier charging.

You need to see if those additional features are worth the money. To many people they aren't, but to many people they are.

Most people I know, $160 is an impulse purchase. They see something like - oooooh, no wires at all and easy charging! $160 is a GREAT price, and purchase it immediately.

Others like you, $160 is a lot, which is why you bring up how pricey you think $160 is.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)