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Apple AirPods Release Date: Wireless Earphones On Sale Now, But Shipping Is Already Slipping

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After months of delays, frustration and speculation, the Apple AirPods release date has finally come. The wireless earphones are now on sale at last.

Apple was initially supposed to launch its AirPods back in October, making a great fit for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that lack a headphone jack. When it was time for release, however, Apple said that it needed more time to work on the product before making it available to the public.

Earlier this month, hope rekindled that the AirPods may finally be ready for launch in time for the holidays, as an alleged Tim Cook email noted a release within the next few weeks.

Apple AirPods Now On Sale

As it turns out, that time frame was correct. The Apple AirPods are now officially on sale at the Apple Store, retailing at $159 and set to start shipping soon. Apple initially listed a shipping date of Dec. 21, but the estimate slipped to four weeks in no time. At this rate, the backlog is quickly adding up and further delays could be in tow.

The wireless earphones are only available online for now, but they're set to hit physical Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers starting next week.

AirPods Availability: Limited Quantities

Apple says that its AirPods will ship in limited quantities at launch, while physical stores will get regular AirPods shipments. The Apple AirPods are launching in more than 100 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, China, Germany, France, India, Mexico and Japan.

"With AirPods, setting up and using wireless headphones has never been easier," touts Apple. "Just open the charging case near your iPhone and with a simple tap, AirPods are immediately set up with all the devices signed into your iCloud account, including your Apple Watch, iPad and Mac."

AirPods Features

The AirPods are fitted with advanced sensors that can detect when the wireless headphones are in use and automatically play/ pause music. It's also easy to activate Siri with just a double-tap on the AirPods, allowing users to quickly summon the virtual assistant to get directions, make and take calls, control music and perform other such tasks.

The wireless Apple AirPods are among the most touted accessories for the iPhone 7, especially since the smartphone ships with no headphone jack. In terms of design, the AirPods closely resemble the old Apple EarPods, but they pack a W1 wireless chip that allows for a Bluetooth connection instead of wires.

The AirPods ship with a Lightning-to-USB cable and a small charging case, and promise to last for up to five hours of listening on a single charge. The charging case, meanwhile, allows users to charge the headphones on the go.

If the AirPods are not exactly your cup of tea, however, there are plenty of alternatives. To get a better idea, check out the best Bluetooth headphones for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

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