When we reviewed the iPhone 7 in September, we also got to spend some time with a pair of the fancy new wireless AirPods. At the time, the “final” versions were slated to ship in just a few weeks, but the planned late October release was delayed with no reason or time estimate given. AirPods didn’t actually start shipping until earlier this month, and quantities were limited enough that shipping times quickly slipped to January and February.
Apple doesn’t usually like to announce things early, and it doesn’t like to miss its own deadlines in public, but it also needed to have a bold statement about the wireless future to go along with the iPhone 7’s missing headphone jack. But the problems with the AirPods, whether they were wireless issues or manufacturing bottlenecks, were apparently severe enough for the timing to slip.