The Apple AirPods release date may not be as close as some would hope, as analysts believe the wireless earphones may not hit the market this year after all.
Apple was supposed to launch its AirPods in October, but said it needed more time to perfect the product before bringing it to market. The company did not specify just how much more time it needed to smoothen things over, but the general belief was that it wouldn’t take too long.
Earlier this month, word came out that the AirPods were on track for a 2016 release despite the delay, making their way to market in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season.
However, the latest news suggests that the AirPods may not hit the scene this year after all, as they haven’t even gone into production yet. More specifically, Barclays analysts released a research note obtained by Apple-centric website MacRumors, noting that the Apple AirPods should enter production next month.
If the wireless earphones enter production in December, it remains to be seen whether they’ll be ready in time for a 2016 release. It’s not impossible to have them on sale sometime in the final weeks of this year’s holiday shopping season, but a January 2017 release might be more plausible.
Limited Production Initially
Barclays further added that the initial production run for the AirPods will be limited, with just 10 to 15 million AirPods at first. If the AirPods launch in limited supply and see whopping demand, initial stock might vanish upon launch and cause extended shipping estimates down the line, just like we saw with the iPhone release.
Apple, for its part, released its 2016 Holiday Shopping Guide and put its latest and greatest products on the list, but the AirPods are not on the main page. Selecting to see iPhone accessories will lead you to a page with the AirPods, but Apple still lists the $159 wireless earphones as “currently unavailable,” with no estimate on when they should arrive.
This could be further indication on the uncertain release date for the Apple AirPods, assuming that Apple would’ve included them on the main page of its 2016 Holiday Shopping Guide if it were sure it could bring them to market in time for the holidays.
That said, there’s still a chance the AirPods could launch this year so don’t lose all hope until Apple makes a formal announcement stating otherwise. As always, we’ll keep an eye out for any new developments and let you know as soon as we learn more.
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