What you need to know
- Kim Namjoon, the main rapper and leader of BTS, has lost 33 pairs of AirPods.
- The total cost of the missing headphones eclipses $6000.
- It brings to light the unintended disposibility of Apple's wireless headphones.
Kim Namjoon, K-pop rapper and leader of BTS, was talking to fans in a live Q&A this weekend when one fan mentioned their frustration with losing their AirPods. Reported by 9to5Mac, the star mentioned that he believes he has lost 33 pairs of Apple's wireless headphones.
In total, Kim admitted to losing roughly $6000 worth of AirPods. A hefty bunch of money aside, the admission does call into question two things about AirPods that Apple has yet to fix: findability and sustainability.
Apple does allow you to add your AirPods to the Find My app and will track your AirPods to their last known location. For Kim, this was most likely a useless feature as he most likely learned he was missing his headphones when he was already across the world performing in another country. This location feature is currently dependent on your AirPods being connected to another one of your Apple devices that can actually send its location the Find My app. It's still handy, but it really is an estimate of their location, not continuous tracking.
Apple is hoping to solve this with the U1 chip it is currently shipping in the iPhone 11. The company teased a mesh network of Apple devices working together anonymously to help users with lost iPhones, iPads, and more to pinpoint exactly where their device currently is. The feature is not live yet, but it is coming.
The second thing that the pop star's problem brings to the forefront again is the sustainability of AirPods. The headphones are currently almost impossible to repair because of their size and engineering. If you need an AirPod repaired, the Apple Store will just give you or make you purchase a new one. Apple does thankfully recycle AirPods as it does with the rest of their products, but the fact that even a needed battery replacement warrants an entirely new unit is concerning for a company that touts its commitment to the environment.
Granted, AirPods are still a very new category for the company, and I imagine figuring out these problems are part of the product and design team's consideration when creating new generations of AirPods. We'll just have to wait and see.