The AirPods were originally said to be released in October, but Apple later issued a statement saying that it needed “a little more time” before they were ready for customers, and has yet to issue any official statement since.
To this day, the reasoning behind the delay remains unclear, though a person familiar with the development of the AirPods told The Wall Street Journal that the delay is related to Apple’s “efforts to chart a new path for wireless headphones,” in addition to resolving what happens when a user loses one or when the battery dies.
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.
Apple has yet to issue an official release date for the wireless earbuds. But, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an email that they’ll begin to ship within the “next few weeks.”