Apple AirPods to arrive in stores on Dec. 19, report says

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According to a report on Thursday, Apple is expected to start brick-and-mortar sales of its wireless AirPods headphones on Dec. 19, giving interested customers another chance to nab a pair on launch day.

Citing an anonymous source within Apple's retail network, MacRumors reports the company plans to start AirPods sales in its stores on Monday, Dec. 19, two days before the first online orders are due to arrive in customers' hands.

Alongside Apple's own stores, the hotly anticipated hardware is also expected to land in mobile carrier outlets and Apple Authorized Resellers on Monday, the report said. It is unclear how many AirPods each store is to be allotted, but judging by preorders earlier this week, supplies will be constrained.

After more than a month of delays, AirPods went on sale through Apple's online storefront on Tuesday with an expected delivery date of Dec. 21. Initial supply quickly sold out, however, pushing back shipping times to four weeks mere hours after release. Current estimates show delivery estimates of six weeks.

The online stockout reflects pent up demand for Apple's first wireless headphone product. Announced in September alongside iPhone 7, AirPods were initially scheduled to debut sometime in October, but unforeseen production issues forced Apple delay launch.

A subsequent report claimed Apple ran into problems syncing audio between the two wireless earbuds, and was investigating solutions for the eventuality of customers losing a single earbud.

Last month, AppleInsider sources said AirPods was on track to ship before the holidays despite the apparent engineering difficulties. Notably, Apple sent AirPods demonstration units to select retail stores in early November.

AppleInsider was able to take an early look at a production model earlier this week and came away impressed. From amazing hardware to tight software integration with Siri support, AirPods is one of 2016's best products.

For those who didn't make the preorder window, and are unable to grab a pair in stores next week, AppleInsider is giving away a set of AirPods to one lucky winner. To enter, subscribe to our YouTube channel and leave a comment in our AirPods giveaway video or follow us on Instagram. The entry period ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 21, and the winner will be announced in a video posted to our YouTube channel on Dec. 22.


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