Apple Sending Replacement AirPods With Unreleased Firmware, Rendering Them Unusable

Customers who require a replacement AirPod from Apple have in some cases been receiving an AirPod running 2D3 firmware, which is not a version of the AirPods firmware that's been publicly released.

airpodsdesign
As described on the MacRumors forum and Reddit (via iMore), customers who get an AirPod with the 2D3 firmware are unable to pair it with the existing unreplaced AirPod, leaving the ‌AirPods‌ unable to be used together.

Apple has apparently been shipping these ‌AirPods‌ running the unusable firmware since March 25 or earlier, so some customers have been without a functional set of ‌AirPods‌ for a few weeks. From Reddit:

Having the same problem. Had the left replaced originally and that came with 2D3. Apple then replaced the right and that came with 1A673. I could get them to pair individually, but that's ridiculous.

I eventually got through to a senior advisor yesterday who used screen sharing to take a look for himself; he was totally confused and handled it great so far. He made himself the assignee for my case and I'm expecting a call back today after he left me with some tips from engineering. Those tips didn't work and now it appears both ‌AirPods‌ are fried. I can no longer get any AirPod to pair with my phone. The case is fine since I can pair my wife's ‌AirPods‌ with my phone using my case.

The advisor did admit that I'd never be able to get these to pair since the lesser versioned AirPod wouldn't be able to update to a non-public version. He even said there's little documentation on it, and that what likely happened is when it was made, 2D3 was about to be released but ended up not coming out because of bugs.

Apple's support staff has been unable to help customers, and even after multiple ‌AirPods‌ shipments, customers have been unable to get a working set. From MacRumors reader blue_marzipan:

I have the same problem and have spent the last 2 days trying to get Apple to help. The issue is the firmware 2D3 is not available for update yet. I finally got to a Senior Adviser and he said he could not help me other than send me another set but could not check the firmware before shipping so may or may not match. They have sent me 2 left ones, both with the 2D3 firmware which of course won't sync with the other one and cannot be updated. The adviser wasn't helpful at all. He said if many people report the problem (in my case it took 48hrs to get to him), then engineers might look at it. Otherwise there was nothing he could do for me.

And from MacRumors reader SorsCode, who is experiencing the same problem:

Update: Not a good one, but an update. I'm on my 4th replacement on the right Airpod now and still haven't been able to get one with 2D3 on it. They have sent me both Left and Rights at the same time. All my lefts have been 2D3 and my rights have been all over the place. Escalating tonight to see if we can just stop the madness and get a refurbished set sent.

According to a person on Reddit who spent 10 hours talking to Apple's support staff over the course of a week, the 2D3 AirPod problem appears to be somewhat widespread, and given that Apple's teams are working from home right now, there's no available word on when the new 2D3 firmware might be released to solve the problem.

There will be no solution until the new firmware is released, but in some cases, Apple's support team has been replacing affected replacement ‌AirPods‌ with new, functional sets that are running older firmware. This doesn't appear to be universal, though, and there are still some who are struggling to work out the problem.

This appears to be an issue that is primarily impacting customers who own the second-generation ‌AirPods‌, but there have been a few reports from customers who own AirPods Pro that have been affected.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

Andres Cantu Avatar
8 months ago
Classic Apple: it's never a problem until it's a PR problem.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
8 months ago
"I finally got to a Senior Adviser and he said he could not help me other than send me another set but could not check the firmware before shipping so may or may not match."

If only there was a software program that allowed companies to track critical details of each device being manufactured, for example the firmware version. EDIT: Found it - it's called a "database".
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
8 months ago
This is faintly absurd. Given the current situation across the planet, Apple should be supplying new sets to customers while they work out how to resolve this firmware snafu.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DribbleCastle Avatar
8 months ago
I had a similar issue but my replacement Airpod (left 2nd gen) came with an out of date firmware. It took me forever to figure out what was going on and how to finally fix it. I had to leave it in the case within 4 inches (unpaired) of my iPhone. Somehow without being paired, the iPhone will magically update the firmware (may take like 20+ minutes). One of the worst Apple experiences I've had in a while.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
8 months ago
Apple seems to be dropping the ball lately in small but irritating ways. And this started happening long before Covid-19, so it's not that. I hope they can get their crap together soon.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Northern Man Avatar
8 months ago


Going through this now. They send a replacement Airpod 2 set since I was having issues with them charging, both left and right. The replacement set comes in three packages, case, left and right headsets, with the left having 2D3 firmware. You can see this as you can connect each airpod separately. Several calls last week and I was told that they can only send replacement sets and pray that i can a set with the same firmware....my 1 year is up April 28th.....not hopeful right now....

It's really amateur hour over at Apple....unfortunately the hour has become years....
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
xlK6MS4MLqVFaskl

iFixit Shares iPhone 12 Pro Max Teardown Revealing L-Shaped Battery and Bigger Camera Module

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:53 am PST by
In the last of its iPhone 12 series teardowns, iFixit has published its iPhone 12 Pro Max disassembly, which reveals some unique differences in the design of the internals, including the full extent of the larger camera system responsible for the improved low-light performance on Apple's largest iPhone to date. On opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the first obvious difference compared to the...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...