Apple did not say whether hardware or software updates are what is at the heart of the delay so I couldn’t conjecture which.
“The early response to AirPods has been incredible,” Apple told CNET in a statement. “We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers.”
AirPods were first announced back in September at the iPhone 7 event where the $159 wireless earphones were previewed ahead of a ‘late October’ release. Many have expected AirPods to go on sale as soon as tomorrow or Friday (or Monday at the latest) given the ‘late October’ promise and the timing of tomorrow’s Mac event.
Apple didn’t indicate when the AirPods will be available. The iPhone 7 doesn’t feature a headphone jack, as Apple is looking to push a wireless future.
The AirPods are a brand new piece of hardware for Apple incorporating a half dozen new technologies including a bespoke wireless chip. They couldn’t have been easy to make and it seems that’s being reflected in these delays. Apple has placed the AirPods at the center of a variety of strategies surrounding wireless audio and AI, so it’s important that it gets the launch right.
Announcement of the AirPod delay came ahead of Apple’s Mac event on Thursday.