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COVERNEWSLETTERSCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Apple Finally Kicks Off Sales of AirPod Wireless Headphones

American gadget maker, Apple Inc. on Tuesday, December 13, began selling its AirPod wireless headphones after a nearly two-month delay that ate into holiday sales.

Apple first said AirPods ordered online Tuesday would arrive Dec. 21. Yet by midmorning New York time, Apple’s website was showing that newly ordered AirPods would be shipped in four weeks.

The devices also will be available for $159 at Apple stores and authorized retail locations next week. Apple declined to say how many units will be available or why the AirPods were delayed. By midmorning Eastern Time, Apple’s website was showing newly ordered AirPods would arrive on Dec. 29.

The delay marked a rare public misstep for Apple. In September, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller hailed the earbuds as the entree to a wireless future, with seamless connection to an iPhone and five-hour battery life.

In part, the AirPods were promoted as a replacement for the headphone jack, which Apple removed from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

In September, Mr. Schiller said the devices would ship in October, but late that month Apple said shipment was delayed. Last week, an Apple spokeswoman said, “We need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers.”

The reasons for their delay became a subject of speculation with theories focusing on the challenges of perfecting the way sound reached the earpieces using Bluetooth technology, Nasdaq reports.

Barclays in November said that Apple planned to make 10 to 15 million units of AirPods initially. By comparison, Apple shipped nearly 75 million phones in the final three months of 2015.

 

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