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AirPods Launch Rumors Now Include Dates in Late November and December

Adding to the pile of recent guesswork rumors centering around the launch of Apple's AirPods, this week a collection of foreign retail websites have listed the Bluetooth headphones with new dates suggesting availability before the end of the year.

First off, today Mac4Ever discovered that French retail website Fnac has posted the AirPods for pre-order, with a suggested shipping date of November 30. If true, that would mark a launch following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but still leave customers plenty of time to add AirPods to their holiday shopping list.

One of many predicted AirPods shipping dates from foreign resellers, this one Fnac

Last week, a launch supposedly set for around tomorrow, November 18, was floated by an Apple reseller, which reportedly told a customer it would be getting AirPods stock today, November 17. Although an impending launch as soon as tomorrow is unlikely, many Apple retail stores have been receiving demo units of the AirPods to demonstrate to customers and teach employees how to use them, suggesting Apple still intends to launch the device sooner rather than later next year.

Earlier in the week Letem svetem Applem discovered that Czech website Alza had listed the AirPods as launching December 2016. That date has since been removed from the site, which now simply states that it "accepts pre-orders" for the AirPods.

If production does begin in December, as predicted by Barclays, that still leaves the option that AirPods might not launch until January 2017, which was one of the first delayed date estimates for the headphones after Apple postponed the launch beyond October. Despite that rumor, and a few other extraneous websites that mark AirPods availability as late as March 2017, many still believe it's most likely that Apple will get the AirPods out in time for the holiday shopping season.

With the highly divergent launch dates sprouting up online, it's clear that no one officially knows exactly when the AirPods will come out. On, the AirPods are listed as both "coming soon" and "currently unavailable." Following the delay, Apple explained that it needed "a little more time" with the AirPods before they would be ready to launch, but didn't divulge specific reasons why it chose to do so.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

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38 months ago

Very excited about these. Waiting for some real world hands on reviews from you guys and hopefully a better way to skip tracks and volume control other than Siri.

Apple Watch is your solution there.
Rating: 13 Votes
38 months ago
They still look pretty dorky.
Rating: 12 Votes
38 months ago

It’s already here.

Kinda defeats the purpose of getting them doesn't it?
Rating: 10 Votes
38 months ago
Apple really should have done wireless earphones months/a year before removing the headphone jack, not after.
Rating: 9 Votes
38 months ago

Too little, too late. Bought some QC35s and loving them

I feel you. I got bored waiting for the 2018 Mini Cooper, so I bought a Winnebago instead, and loving it.
Rating: 9 Votes
38 months ago
I just wish I could preorder them so that I don't have to worry about buying them right at release and facing massive back orders.
Rating: 7 Votes
38 months ago

I ended up getting some PowerBeats 3's from the local Apple Store

They work, they may not be the best in the world, but the W1's pairing capability is excellent

I bought some PowerBeats 3s specifically to wear with my AppleWatch 2 while running, and I've been pretty disappointed, specifically because of how poor the pairing "magic" is. Sound quality is fine, comfort is good, battery life is ridiculous, I don't care about brand, and cost is quite frankly not a concern to me. I chose them entirely based on what I thought would be least hassle pairing with the W1 chip.

Where it fails so hard is its inability to recognize that I want to play music from the watch to the headphones. It literally takes minutes, not seconds, but MINUTES, every time, to start up my music prior to starting my run.

First, and this isn't the fault of the PowerBeats, when starting the music app on the watch, you have to force-touch and manually change the source to the watch. Every. Damn. Time. This takes a few seconds. Then you turn on the PowerBeats, specifically while not yet in your ear because it's impossible to distinguish the on-chime from the off-chime so you need to watch for its light to come on. And that seems to take 3-4 seconds for some reason. Not instant. Assuming you still have your playlist already selected, you press play. Now, you have to wait through a full timeout cycle where the watch will inform you it can't find the headphones. I think this takes close to a minute. This also happens every single time you first initiate playback. You then have to cancel out back to the playlist and click play again. A few second later, it'll finally send sound to the headphones and you can start your run. But don't accidentally pass through any wifi locations your watch knows the password to or it'll automatically halt playback. Thankfully in this case you just have to go back into the music app and press play again (it won't hassle you about not finding the headphones), but that's still disruptive when you're in the workout app and trying to run.

That said, they work awesome with the phone. And that's actually the problem. The headphones always want to be paired with and receive music from the phone. All that headache I spelled out above applies only when the phone is in range of the watch, or the watch is otherwise on a wifi network it knows. If you wait to start your music until you and your watch are out of range of the phone and wifi, it actually performs like you'd want. And if the stupid watch app would just remember that you prefer to play music from the watch, not the phone, it would truly be magic. (it still defaults to phone even when it knows for fact it can't find the phone, forcing you to force-touch and switch to watch source).

I also have an iPad Air on the same iCloud account. I've never managed to get the iPad to play to the PowerBeats, but I've never tried with the phone completely out of range. Hand-off type features do work between my iPhone and iPad, iMessages are shared, etc, so they're definitely sync'd up in that regard. The PowerBeats are supposed to work with the iPad in this scenario. But they don't. The iPad can see them; I can switch output to them manually like you can with AirPlay, but it will timeout and say it can't connect to them. Always.

I say all this because the experience has completely changed my mind on buying the AirPods (which I'd have loved to have at my desk for teleconferencing). The W1 chip is not magic, aside from battery life.
Rating: 4 Votes
38 months ago
That's all cool and stuff, but where are the BeatsX?! They're still coming in the "fall". It seems like everything this year is back ordered. I cant buy a 7+, Series 2, Nike+, or MacBook Pro TB, in any of my 3 Apple Stores. Best Buy has all of them in stock but no corporate discount. :(
Rating: 4 Votes
38 months ago

They still look pretty dorky.

They are not the most appealing. But not many care about the look who want them. We want the convenience and functionality with the Airpods. The W1 chip, charging capability and five hour battery life are the real selling points.
Rating: 4 Votes
38 months ago

Sound quality: It doesn't matter how great the wireless tech, they will sound the same or worse than the wired ones (which are free). They will most likely have the same driver.
Design: They are slippy (see photos). Slippy is ok if a wire is attached. But these cost a ridiculous amount and for one to fall out, let's be honest, you'd be devastated. The wired ones fall out my ears. Unless I am still. These just look silly and I love Apple products!
Noise isolation: None. Same as the original ear buds.

So, honestly, I can't see why anyone would buy any! Apart from saying, hey I got the latest Apple air pods. Buy now or wait till they end up on eBay :)

I too can argue the exact opposite - that the best sounding headphones are useless to me if they are too cumbersome for me to handle. I honestly don't mind paying for a pair of earbuds that pair easily and seamlessly to my iPhone and which are a breeze to take out and wear and keep and switch between all my Apple devices.

Different needs for different people. The posters here seriously need to start understanding and accepting that their preferences aren't representative of Apple's entire user base.
Rating: 3 Votes

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