There is still hope that the Apple AirPods could launch before year’s end

Kris Wouk
Digital Trends
apple airpods launch delayed
apple airpods launch delayed

Alongside the reveal of the iPhone 7 earlier in 2016, Apple also unveiled a new pair of wireless in-ears, dubbed the AirPods. These were originally set to ship in October, but just before the end of the month, the company delayed the launch, saying it needed a little more time. What the company didn’t address was when the true wireless in-ears would ship.

More: Everything you need to know about Apple’s AirPods

Now we might finally have an idea. Apple CEO Tim Cook appears to have responded to an email from an exasperated customer with a clue at when the AirPods could ship. “Thanks for your note,” the email reads. “Sorry for the delay — we are finalizing them and I anticipate we will begin to ship over the next few weeks.”

Whether or not the email actually came from Cook is a matter of debate, but MacRumors reports the email headers pointed to the email coming from Apple’s servers. This type of data can be faked, but Apple executives have taken it upon themselves to respond to customer complaints in the past. For its part, Apple has not confirmed or denied whether Cook did send the email.

As is generally the case with the company, Apple didn’t say what the issue behind the delay was, or whether it was a hardware or software problem. Multiple outlets have had time with pre-release versions of the AirPods, and while some of the minor issues often found in early versions were present, none are reporting any major issues.

More: Apple reportedly invests in Omnifone staff and technology to beef up Apple Music

One thing that likely isn’t the cause of the delay is the new W1 chip that was announced alongside the AirPods and is what powers the long-lasting battery life touted by Apple. The Beats Solo3 and Powerbeats3 — both of which use the W1 chip —  managed to ship on time.

Some retailers have said that they already have demonstration models of the AirPods in hand and are just waiting for stock to arrive, so if you’re holding out for a release before the holiday shopping season is over, there may still be hope.

Story originally published in October 2016. Updated on 11/30/2016 by Kris Wouk: Added news of the AirPods possibly shipping before the end of 2016