Apple's AirPods have launched with much criticism, but Apple CEO Tim Cook still referred to the wireless earphones as a "runaway success" in a recent interview.
While Cook's statement may raise eyebrows for users who are not fans of the AirPods, what could not be refuted is the fact that interest in the wireless earphones has been unexpectedly massive. Customers are experiencing shipment delays as the demand for the AirPods has largely outpaced available supply.
AirPods Production Ramps Up
According to a DigiTimes report, the strong demand for the AirPods over the holiday season has affected Inventec, which is Apple's chosen manufacturing partner for the wireless earphones.
Inventec is said to have recently started capacity expansion efforts at its plants in Shanghai, China, amid the increasing demand for the AirPods. The manufacturer did not reveal the size of the orders sent in by Apple for the wireless earphones, but it was revealed that Inventec's plants are now working overtime to be able to deliver the requested number of units by Apple for the AirPods.
Massive Demand For AirPods
When Apple started taking orders for the AirPods in mid-December, the initial shipping date was Dec. 21 for the $159 wireless earphones. However, the shipping estimate quickly slipped to four weeks, with some customers attempting to take advantage of others who were not willing to wait that long for the AirPods by putting up their pre-ordered units on eBay for prices as high as $1,590.
At the time of writing, the estimated shipping date for the AirPods is now at six weeks, which means that customers who purchase the wireless earphones now will have expect to receive their order by mid-February.
There is no information on how many AirPods are now being manufactured daily by Inventec's plants amid its capacity expansion, or how many units of the AirPods have so far been sold by Apple. If the report by DigiTimes is true though, users should expect the shipping times of their AirPods to start being shortened soon.
There have been reports that customers who purchased AirPods are receiving their orders sooner than expected, so perhaps the efforts of Inventec to address the supply shortage of the wireless earphones are already starting to take effect.
AirPods Criticisms And Issues
Aside from how easy it looks for users to lose their AirPods, the wireless earphones have received criticism from iFixit as being impossible to repair and recycle, which is important as requests to replace each AirPod will set back customers $69 each.
Some AirPods users have also reported battery draining issues with the charging case of the AirPods, though that can be easily fixed by having the charging case replaced at a local Apple Store.
Despite criticisms and issues, the AirPods are still selling so well that Inventec needs to have its factories working overtime in manufacturing the wireless earphones. Perhaps Cook's statement on the AirPods being a success is true after all.