[Update] AirPods Max deliveries returned marked 'Hazardous Materials'

Airpods Max Digital Crown Hero
Airpods Max Digital Crown Hero (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • AirPods Max shipments in Canada are being sent back to Apple marked as 'hazardous materials', but it's unclear why.

Update: December 17 - 8:30 am ET: UPS Canada has confirmed to iMore that the packages tendered to UPS were incorrectly labeled. UPS says that for the safety of its employees and community all shipments containing potentially hazardous materials must follow specific guidelines, and that it has followed up to ensure proper labelling. It seems apparent that the labelling mixup was caused by a problem with labels when UPS received the packages.

Customers in Canada are reporting that their AirPods Max shipments are being sent back to Apple marked 'hazardous' materials.

Reported by iPhone in Canada:

Ahead of reaching final destinations, some AirPods Max orders in Canada are being returned to Apple by UPS.According to iPhone in Canada readers, some are seeing their AirPods Max orders get a 'hazardous materials' status update, only to note the package would then be returned to sender."A hazardous materials irregularity occurred with this package. We'll contact sender with additional information./ The package will be returned to sender."

The report shows a shipping notification with the above message, and at least one iPhone in Canada reader in Ontario had their package returned to Apple following the "hazardous materials" designation.

A second customer based in Calgary reported an identical story, where their AirPods Max were also marked "hazardous materials" halfway through shipping and returned to Apple.

As the report notes, the blow is doubly insulting given just how hard it is to get hold of AirPods Max, which currently have a shipping time of more than three months in most stores around the world.

Apple released its AirPods Max last week. Priced a $549, they feature "high-fidelity audio", adaptive EQ, active noise cancellation, and spatial audio. From Apple:

Apple today announced AirPods Max, innovative wireless headphones that bring the magic of AirPods to an over-ear design with high-fidelity sound. AirPods Max combine a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio. AirPods Max come in five gorgeous colors, including space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink, and are available to order starting today, with availability beginning Tuesday, December 15.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9