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Former Apple engineer reveals just how long AirPods Max have been in development

Airpods Max
Airpods Max (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A former Apple engineer has revealed they first signed an NDA regarding Apple's AirPods Max more than four years ago, revealing they've been in development a long time.

A former Apple engineer has claimed they first signed a nondisclosure agreement regarding Apple's AirPods Max four years ago, revealing they have been in development for some time.

In a now-deleted tweet shared by Ryan Jones on Twitter, Dinesh Dave (@appleidinesh) stated "The last product NDA I signed is finally out!", along with a link to Apple's brand new AirPods Max.

When asked by a user when the NDA had been signed, Dinesh Dave responded '~4 years,' revealing that Apple's new over-ear headphones have been on the cards since the original AirPods were released in December 2016. As Jones notes, it's very possible Apple saw the "insane demand" for its first iteration of the wireless earbuds and decided they had better capitalize on the opportunity.

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Apple released its brand new AirPods Max yesterday, December 8. In a press release the company stated:

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.

Whilst Apple says that availability will kick off next week, shipping times for all five colors of the new headphones have slipped to three months, meaning customers in the US can't get them online until March next year. Availability at retailer Best Buy is much better.

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.