Earlier today, Apple somewhat surprisingly announced that its truly wireless AirPods won’t be available this month like it had originally announced. This announcement was a bit out of character for Apple, as the company admitted that the product simply isn’t ready for primetime just yet. While on the surface it seems like bad news for Apple that the AirPods are delayed, it was likely a smart move by the company for the long run…
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Over recent years, Apple has been met with criticism that its products and services have become less refined than they once were, putting Steve Jobs’ ‘it just works’ mantra up for debate. For instance, Apple Music has been met with a mixed reaction due to inconstancies throughout the user interface, while even long-time pro-Apple reporters like Walt Mosseberg have started to point out that Apple seems to have lost – in some form or another – its attention to detail.
Apple’s move to delay the AirPods release, and publicly admit to it, is notable for a few reasons. Though it’s not the first time Apple has delayed a release, the AirPods delay is much more notable seeing that they are an obvious companion to the iPhone 7, which of course lacks a headphone jack.
In its statement, Apple explained that it doesn’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready:
“The early response to AirPods has been incredible. 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,” an Apple spokesperson said to TechCrunch.
For one, this indicates that perhaps Apple has been listening to complaints that its products and services have become less refined. In the past, Apple has faced delays concerning software releases like iTunes 11 and iTunes Match, as well the white iPhone 4, but to be frank, the AirPods release is a much bigger release in the grand scheme for Apple.
It’s crucial that users have a good experience with AirPods. Apple made the bold move of removing the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and releasing a half-baked wireless solution would totally utterly contradict its message that wireless is the future. Not everyone has agreed that Apple made a smart decision by ditching the headphone jack and a non-functional or even buggy wireless solution would not help convince users on the fence at all.
Early reviews noted of some bugs with the AirPods. Reviewers complained of issues with Siri control, sound quality, design, and various other things. One review in particular noted that AirPods felt more like a proof of concept than an actual product. This again proves that Apple is doing the right thing by taking its time to release AirPods.
There are a few stigmas that surround wireless headphones and Apple needs to ensure that AirPods prove those stigmas wrong if it wants to win over those who aren’t convince that wireless is the future.
- An overall added layer of complicatedness versus wired solutions
- Buggy when switching between devices
- Lower sound quality than wired solutions
- Sound drops while moving
- Hassle of charging
Personally, the more I’ve used my iPhone 7 Plus, the more annoyed I’ve become with the lack of a headphone jack. Whether it’s forgetting my Lightning EarPods, grabbing my 3.5mm EarPods, misplacing my 3.5mm adapter, or some other combination of screw ups, I’ve found myself without iPhone 7 compatible headphones on multiple occasions over the last month.
The obvious solution to my problem is wireless and I’ve been holding out for AirPods and BeatsX, neither of which are available or have a set release. As I said before, though, I’d rather have a functional product than one that was rushed to market to appease annoyed iPhone 7 users like me. And I’m glad Apple seems to realize that, as well.
In an era when people have been hounding Apple about quality assurance, the move to delay the AirPods is likely a good one in the long run. While we don’t know when they will launch to the public, it’s certainly smart for Apple to take a step back, remove the public deadline from its worries, and ensure that AirPods will be fully functional at launch. The delay certainly is disappointing, but in the long run, wouldn’t you rather have a functional product than one plagued by bugs and flaws because Apple felt the need to rush it to the market?
Are you overly disappointed by Apple’s AirPods delay? Or do you think it was the right decision in the long run? Let us know in the comments.