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Here's why you can't get AirPods right now

Apple CEO Tim Cook, talking AirPod availability on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE):

AirPods are a runaway success. We're making those just as fast as we can.

When asked if Apple could speed up production, Cook said they were doing the best they could.

Cutting edge products, which are the kind Apple often likes to bring to market, often come with supply constraints or yield issues or the other types of challenges common to — wait for it — cutting edge products.

You can't get AirPods at most Apple Stores, or online without shipping delays, because Apple simply can't make enough supply to meet demand.

Earlier this week, I called it one of the biggest problems facing Apple in 2017, and it is. But it's also part of what makes Apple Apple.

They could phone in a new set of EarPods and get millions on the shelf. But that's not how they roll. They want to push as fast and as far as possible without missing the line. The trick is to know where that line is, though, and to make the incredibly difficult look absolutely easy peasy.

Often they succeed at just that. When they don't...

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... we get really awkward CNBC passive aggressive humor on the floor of the NYSE.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

14 Comments
  • Runaway success...hahahahahahaha
  • I know, hard to believe that the most profitable company in the world can make products people are willing to buy.
  • Actually it seems that  is finally rewarding those that order online instead of brick and mortar. My order that was supposed to arrive on 12 January arrived today (12/28) instead of at my local Best Buy or Apple store. If it had, I would've canceled my online order and bought these at the store instead, and that's not good for anyone. Sent from the iMore App
  • Weird.. I got mine today :) I ordered online just 2 days ago. I made a trip to my local Apple Store all out of stock, ordered online and now I have them lol
  • I ordered them on day one. I was given the Jan 12th as the ship date and then they actually shipped on Dec 23 and arrived today. Unfortunately, the right earpiece was a dud - no sound at all. They are being shipped back to apple and now my new ship date is Feb 16. I was told they would be given "priority" so hopefully that means they will arrive sooner.
  • I got mind AirPods on monday morning i just walk in and got my AirPods the day of launch. i even got two just to have two i never knew this was going to be so much in demand wow i guess i got lucky
  • There's two in every box so you're not as lucky as you think.
  • "Cutting edge products, which are the kind Apple often likes to bring to market, often come with supply constraints or yield issues" If the ifixit teardown or the multiple reddit threads detailing dodgy charging cases are anything to go by, the supply issues are less to do with Apple being cutting edge and more to do with them cutting costs.
  • That quote is priceless. My partner's earbuds are uneven in the seam.. one is perfectly even the other not so much. Apple apparently has no issue sending out less-than-perfect buds. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Yesterday on a whim I checked online for stock in my local Apple store. They had them, so I bought a pair. Turned up to collect, discovered that I needed to have brought a photo ID to collect an item I'd already bought, so I cancelled the order online and bought one of the many they had in stock. I never could wear Earpods, horrible nasty, uncomfortable, slippy-outy things. Anyhow, I figured I'd just return the new Airpods if they were the same. But I'm sort of amazed. The only problem was getting over my own expectations. Without rubber tips gripping the inside of my ear canal, I assumed they'd slip out. Took me about 2 hours before I stopped touching them or trying to push them in. They never moved. Not once. You just have to give in and trust them and they work like magic. I love them.
  • I feel the same way. They fit me perfectly. And the sound is so much better than I was expecting. I'm fairly hard to impress and these kind of do that.
  • I'm with you. Mine stayed in during a long day of travel and had plenty of charge. Sent from the iMore App
  • Mine was due end of January, received them yesterday. Sent from the iMore App
  • Who wants to bet right AFTER that video ended Tim gave him a pair. ;)