Apple’s high-tech (and much lampooned) wireless Airpods were first announced back when the company revealed the iPhone 7 and all the other goodies that launched alongside it in September this year. Indeed, they were touted as the solution to Apple removing that headphone jack. But, to date, the Airpods have not been seen in stores.
The initial launch for Apple’s Airpods was set for the end of October this year, a time-frame that was extended before the launch could take place. No actual date was given at the launch delay and it now seems that the Airpods won’t be seeing a retail environment before 2017.
The most likely reason for the continued delay, according to sources, is because Apple is contending with a much more complicated headphone arrangement this time around. Apple has had to figure out how to transmit and syncronise a Bluetooth signal to two earpieces at once, while retaining audio quality. Normally a wireless headphone setup only needs a single Bluetooth receiver but the Airpods wanted to be difficult by removing the only wire…
The headphone buds are also independently powered, leaving questions about what will happen if one battery goes flat before the other. That shouldn’t happen, in theory, but theory doesn’t have much place in real-world application so Apple will have to account for it before putting the buds on the market.
The sources don’t go into any expected launch dates for Apple’s headphones. There’s a tiny chance that we’ll see them before the end of the year but Apple only has a few days before a 2016 launch becomes a pointless exercise. 2017 seems to be much more likely.