WSJ: AirPods delay is negatively impacting Apple's name and is hurting holiday revenue



Back in October, Apple announced that its wireless Bluetooth ear buds, called AirPods, was being delayed. No reason was given for the change in the product's launch date except for a statement from Apple that said that more time was needed to bring the device to market. Many hoped that the device would still be ready in time for the holiday shopping season, but it is now a week and a half into December without any word from Apple about a launch date for the AirPods.

Last month, banking firm Barclays said that Apple was ready to start production of the AirPods this month, although production would be limited to 10 million to 15 million units. Considering that the original reason for the birth of the AirPods was the elimination of the 3.5-inch earphone jack on the Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus, it would appear that Apple is somehow being hamstrung in producing the AirPods; after all, if Barclays' figure is accurate, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus production will outnumber the fancy new accessory by a 5 to 1 margin at best.

The AirPods delay has struck a blow to Apple's good name and has infuriated those who were planning on using them in lieu of the Lightning enabled earphones that come out of the box on the new iPhone models. As for the cause, one theory is that there is an issue preventing thie left and right earpieces from independently receiving the sounds that go through the AirPods. Normal wired earphones share sound signals, but the wireless design of the new device prevents this from happening. Another possible issue deals with the microphone on the product, which has to capture the sound of the user's voice while keeping background noise from going through the microphone's circuitry.

One independent analyst believes that after Apple allowed some critics to test them, the failure of the product to launch indicates that there is a major problem that has to be fixed. Neil Cybart is the analyst, and he thinks that Apple found a problem in maintaining connectivity between the AirPods and Apple's own devices. He says that if Apple releases the product before it is ready, it risks getting lambasted by consumers and the tech media. But he says that no one will blame Apple if it delays the launch in an attempt to get the device running perfectly before it is released. Cybart says Apple should release the AirPods in 2017 instead of running into shortages before the holiday shopping season concludes.


source: WSJ

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44 Comments

1. cleatglitch

Posts: 158; Member since: May 25, 2013

boo hoo

2. vliang86

Posts: 337; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Apple is doing the right thing not to rush the Airpods. Samsung rushed the Note 7, and look at what happened.

9. EC112987

Posts: 1213; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Well I agree the Note 7 was rushed but does it really compare?

12. PapaJi

Posts: 60; Member since: May 15, 2016

How apple is doing right they rush to remove 3.5mm jack and now facing this problem.... That's why people call you iSheep because you think whatever Apple do is right... Dumb iSheep

14. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

The real sheep are you guys now. Calling names because of a phone choice. There's sheep in both parties if you ask me but there is literally not one apple article that isn't absolutely filled with people hating.

34. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

"but there is literally not one apple article that isn't absolutely filled with people hating" Goes both ways on that too.

39. sgodsell

Posts: 6902; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This article is crap, especially since it's not going to effective any revenue. As if Apple has people lining up to wait for these toothbrush ends sticking out of their ears. With only 5 hours of battery life. Come on, it's not like there isn't any other Bluetooth earbuds or headsets on the market. Many have been their for years, especially the Bluetooth headsets. Not to mention they have much longer battery life and better sound quality, and even more features. Oh, and the best part, you can get some headsets at a fraction of what Apple is asking.

40. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Right, because there's NOOOO Apple users trolling on Android articles. I can name around 5 right off the top of my head that show up in most any Android article, just like I'm sure you could name as many Android users who troll Apple articles. So to FTFY, the real sheep are ANYONE who calls someone names for their phone choice, regardless of what they use. There are a$$hats in both camps.

44. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You mean how like you and your boyfriends come to Samsung articles? Why are you guys such hypocrites?

25. Chidoro

Posts: 165; Member since: Sep 20, 2016

If you think the removal of the headphone jack was done in haste, than you are ad clueless as you constant reference to 'isheep' indicates.

38. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

As if there are not a million wireless bud and headsets to choose from.....

18. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

This whole "rushed Note" argument is so old and was already busted many years ago, when the Notes started debuting around the same time. In fact, if it was really the reason for failure, it wouldn't take so many organizations (independent and Samsung themselves) to find the cause. Let's be real, the Note 7 shared most components and techniques with a phone that was already available for many months and in much larger quantities at that.

27. kiko007

Posts: 7491; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"This whole "rushed Note" argument is so old and was already busted many years ago, when the Notes started debuting around the same time" Actually, last year was the first in which the Note debuted before September if I'm not mistaken. Besides, if it wasn't rushed, what would be the proper excuse for such a flaw as making the chassis to thin for battery expansion?

32. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

You are mistaken. The Note 2 debuted August 2012, the Note 3 in the first week of September 2013, the Note 4 in the first week of September 2014, the Note 5 in August 2015 and the Note 7 in August 2016, almost a week later than the Note 5. The first ones were delivered on the exact same date as the Note 5 though, if owner reports are to be believed. In any case, if anyone honestly believes 1 or 2 weeks makes a difference for a phone that was delivered in much smaller quanitities than the S7 on a planned schedule, while carrying most of the same technologies, a difference that cannot be figured out in months by many research labs, then I have nothing left to add here. The only logical excuse is, that there's likely a design fault or product fault that is so hard to detect or pinpoint, that a week or 2 difference wouldn't have them discover it either. Call it tough luck. But probably bound to happen with so many phone releases and literally more than a billion SDI batteries produced every year.

28. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

It was released just 2 days sooner then the note 5. But what happened happened and time to move on.

43. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Releasing a phone a month in advanced is rushing? That's funny because the S6 and S7 were both released one month earlier tan its yearly release. Hmmm. I think you were rushing to be the first poster and you failed miserably. No one said Apple was rushing. The reason these haven't been released is, because they don't work. Or its a strategy to sell more. Get 50M to buy the headphone jackless phone and then make the wait for the headphones so they all rush and buy it when its release.

3. athos07m

Posts: 137; Member since: Apr 22, 2012

If the 'wireless future' is not ready, just don't eliminate the 3.5 jack... Oh wait, they already did.

8. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

That is the thing that iFans don't get. Removing the 3.5 jack won't make bluetooth headphones better. All it did was make sure they got shafted into an upsell and the rest of the world will still be as ready for the wireless future because they have both.

11. ph00ny

Posts: 2002; Member since: May 26, 2011

Pretty much summed it up nicely

17. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I'm still not happy about the removal of the jack. Bluetooth is a horrible method still. That said, with Samsung ready to follow Apple maybe something better will come along.

42. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

That's all rumors from the apple presstitutes, just like they did with 3d touch ( https://goo.gl/u4YWO4 )...

26. Chidoro

Posts: 165; Member since: Sep 20, 2016

If you are not affected, why care so much? The jack's removal gave way and made space for other things. Always a trade-off. But it sounds as if you were never interested in an iPhone anyway.

29. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"The jack's removal gave way and made space for other things". Care to elaborate on which other things does the jack's removal makes way for? I mean the things which were not possible to be put in a smartphone which has a 3.5mm jack. The jack's removal from the iPhone 7/7 Plus didn't even result into a significantly bigger battery life... Heck, there are phones with 4000mAh battery with the 3.5mm jack! What has Apple put in it's latest iPhones which wasn't possible when the iPhone still had the jack was included? This is a bad trade-off, as the current bluetooth/wireless headphones aren't superior to the 3.5mm jsck in audio quality and versatility. The removal of the 3.5mm jack would make sense when there will be something better to replace it, just like how the CD which replaced Floppy disk made sense, because it was superior to the Floppy in every way.

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"Considering that the original reason for the birth of the AirPods was the elimination of the 3.5-inch earphone jack on theApple iPhone 7and Apple iPhone 7 Plus". So, that means the elimination of the 3.5-inch earphone jack was a money move by Apple, in order to sell the AirPod... Thanks for the info, Alan.

5. mahima

Posts: 720; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

next article, they will find a way to turn it around

7. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Obviously, if it really were for the sake of "moving forward", then the latest macbook pro wouldn't have audio jacks

6. palmguy

Posts: 965; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

But Apple had " the courage"..........

20. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1306; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

It takes more courage to delay the "replacement" for months.

10. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

For sure upon review this will get 9.9. Hahahaha.

13. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I want these and I'm tryin to hold of but the jaybird freedoms are calling my name.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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