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Apple AirPods: Have they sold out in the UK and when will the new model be released?

Demand has been so high for Apple‘s AirPods –  the earphones that solved the problem of tangled wires by removing them completely – that they are currently being sold faster than they can be shipped. 

First launched in late 2016, they automatically connect to a user’s iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch via Bluetooth, detecting when they are in the listener’s ears with the aid of optical sensors and allowing the wearer to skip tracks, adjust the volume and make a call  with the help of the Siri virtual assisant.

They are lightweight, offer five hours of battery life and can be recharged in their container case.

But demand is so high, getting hold of a pair might be difficult. 

How can I check their availability in the UK?

The tech giant allows you to check the availability of the earbuds at your local Apple Store on its website by entering a postcode.

Attempting to buy AirPods online through Apple likewise gave a delivery date of between 23 and 25 January at the time of publication. 

The company stresses though that the dates given represent a worst case scenario and new stock arrives at its facilities on a daily basis, advising customers to place an order with their local Apple Store. 

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The firm has attributed the current shortage to the Christmas rush.

As for third-party retailers, Amazon likewise has none available until 26 January. Consumers might be able to find an alternative resource online but Apple naturally advises going through its own channels.

When will the next generation of AirPods be released?

The consumer electronics giant has yet to confirm a release date for its successor model, although some tech experts have tipped them for a release in early 2020. 

Waterproofing and making Siri voice-activated rather than touch-based are predicted as likely improvements to the existing model.

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In the meantime, Apple is thought to be readying an upgrade for its current AirPods, offering improved connectivity and exchanging the existing case for one that can be recharged wirelessly via a charging mat.

Whether this latter innovation relates to the similar multi-device Apple AirPower charger, first trailled in 2017 but only now on its way after being beset by delays, is currently unclear.

Although widely liked, the AirPods have also drawn less favourable headlines since their introduction on the high street.

Apple was criticised for charging £65 for replacing a lost bud (easy to do without a wire to join them) and over the “Live Listen” accessibility feature, which users reported could be used as a makeshift bugging device against the manufacturer’s intentions.


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