Suppliers Expect Rising Revenues in Q4 2017 from Sales of AirPods and Apple Watch S3

Upstream suppliers are expected to see strong growth in wearable product operations in the fourth quarter of this year thanks to rising sales of Apple's AirPods and Apple Watch range, according to sources in the supply chain (via DigiTimes).

Quanta, Iventec, Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), as well as Foxconn subsidiaries Shunshin Tech and Luxshare-ICT are all expected to benefit from increased sales in Q4 2017, as Apple achieves supply/demand balance for its AirPods and consumer interest in the latest Apple Watch models increases into the holiday season.

Quanta and USI have been long-term supply-chain partners of the Apple Watch series and are expected to see a significant revenue contribution from the orders, while Shunsin has just recently joined the supply chain to provide SiP services and will begin processing related orders in February or March 2018, the sources noted.

As for the AirPods, the sources pointed out that the shortages have already eased and Apple has also increased its orders for the device.
Inventec is the manufacturer of the AirPods, while the device's proprietary W1 chip that allows seamless pairing is supplied by Luxshare-ICT. In addition to the orders, Luxshare-ICT also supplies connectors, cables and antennas for Mac and iPhone products.

AirPods now ship from the online Apple Store in just three to five business days in the United States, Canada, U.K., Australia, and several other countries around the world. Prior to August, the popular earphones had been in extremely short supply, with a typical wait time of six weeks from order to delivery.

Meanwhile, Apple has been getting backordered Apple Watch Series 3 LTE models out quicker than expected, with several customers who expected their devices in mid-October already receiving shipment confirmations.

All Apple Watch Series 3 models with LTE connectivity list shipment dates of at least three to four weeks when purchased online in the United States, and availability is similarly limited in other countries, but indications are that the wait could in fact be shorter. Non-LTE Series 3 Apple Watch models are readily available in stores and will ship out right away, while Nike+ models won't start arriving to customers until Thursday, October 5.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Tag: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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AirPods Shipping Estimates Improve to 3 to 5 Business Days

Apple is closing in on its aim to achieve supply/demand balance for its AirPods, with the popular earphones now shipping from the online Apple Store in just three to five business days in the United States, Canada, U.K., Australia, and several other countries around the world.

According to Apple's U.S. website, AirPods ordered today will be delivered between October 4 and October 6, while U.K. customers ordering today are being quoted delivery dates between October 3 and October 5. These are the best estimates Apple has offered since the AirPods launched in December 2016.


AirPods have been in extremely short supply since they became available for purchase, with a typical wait time of six weeks from order to delivery. Only in August did stock begin steadily improving, with shipping estimates dropping to four weeks and then two to three weeks. Earlier this month, estimates improved to one to two weeks, before hitting three to five business days today.

During Apple's third quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple had boosted AirPods production capacity and was "working very hard" to get AirPods to customers as quickly as possible.

Occasionally, Apple retail stores have received stock and third-party retailers like Best Buy have been able to offer AirPods with faster shipping on a regular basis, but those stocks have usually run out fast.

Costing $159, Apple's "truly wireless" AirPods have gained popularity due to their long battery life, capacious charge case, infrared sensors that detect when they're being worn, touch-based gestures, and a built-in W1 chip that improves Bluetooth connection. AirPods are also relatively inexpensive compared to rival "truly wireless" earbuds that have launched in recent months.

Tag: AirPods

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How to Set Your AirPods to Change Music Tracks in iOS 11

If you have AirPods, there are new features you should be aware of in iOS 11, including a new option to change tracks directly on the earphones using a double tap gesture.

The new gestures are available alongside current gestures, which allow users to summon Siri with a tap. All of the options for your AirPods can be accessed in the Settings app while the AirPods are connected to your iPhone or iPad. Here's how:


  1. Open your AirPods case while your AirPods are near your iPhone so they connect.

  2. Open the Settings app.

  3. Select "Bluetooth."

  4. Tap the little "i" button next to your AirPods.

From this menu, you can customize the name of your AirPods, enable or disable manual ear detection, choose to use the left or right AirPod microphone, and most importantly, choose what happens when you double tap an AirPod.

You can set different gestures for the left and the right AirPod. Options include Siri, Play/Pause, Off, Next Track, and Previous Track. The latter two options are new in iOS 11.


To set a gesture, you only need to tap it. If you choose Next Track for one AirPod and Previous Track for another, you can quickly and easily switch between songs that are playing, without the need to invoke Siri.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: AirPods

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AirPods Wireless Charging Case Rumored for December Launch at $69

During Tuesday's event, Apple revealed that the rumored new version of its AirPods headphones were not in fact the "AirPods 2," but simply a new inductive wireless charging case that users will be able to purchase as a replacement for their current charging cases. No release date or price was mentioned, but information reportedly sourced from Apple Switzerland (via MacPrime) [Google Translate] suggests a December launch date for the new AirPods wireless charging case, which will cost $69.


Apple's out-of-warranty fee to repair or replace the AirPods charging case is $69, so a similar price point for the wireless charging version does make some sense. The only design change made to the new charging case is the placement of the LED battery indicator light, which has migrated from the inside of the case to the outside on the front.

This way, when users place the case down on a Qi-compatible charging pad, they'll be able to see the battery level of the AirPods' case without needing to open the top. Apple will be launching its own Qi charging station -- called the AirPower mat -- sometime in 2018, but until then owners of the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and AirPods will need to purchase third-party charging pads.


In regards to the new AirPods wireless charging case, it's still unclear if Apple will offer a version that also includes the AirPods themselves at the typical $159 price tag. The original AirPods launched in December of 2016.

Tag: AirPods

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Jaybird Announces RUN True Wireless Headphones With Charging Case for $180

Sport headphone company Jaybird today announced two new pairs of wireless headphones, including its first pair of truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

The Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones feature a four-hour battery life and come with a pocket-sized charging case providing an additional eight hours, for a total of 12 hours of battery life on the go, while a five-minute charge gives around one hour of play time.


Jaybird says the buds have a "double hydrophobic nano coating" that protects them from sweat and water damage. There's a single button on both earpieces that takes calls, starts and stops music, skips tracks, and activates Siri. The buds are also designed for one-ear use, allowing runners to stay more aware of their surroundings.

The Jaybird mobile app lets users adjust the sound signature of the earbuds in the lows, miss, and highs, and includes a Find My Buds feature if they go missing. The app also supports sharing of Spotify running-themed playlists with other Jaybird users.

At $180, the Jaybird RUN headphones are pricier than Apple's AirPods ($159) and come in two colors: Drift, which has white and silver metal accents, and Jet, which is black with silver metal accents.


The company's second new pair of headphones are basically a redesign of its miniscule Freedom buds and still have a wire that connects them behind the neck, but the Freedom 2 are said to have an improved fit and greater comfort, with double the battery life (up to eight hours) and water resistance.

The Freedom 2 headphones cost $149, and along with the new RUN earbuds should be available in stores in October, with pre-orders beginning today over on BestBuy, Amazon, and the Jaybird website.


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Apple Introduces New Second-Generation AirPods Case With Wireless Charging Support

At today's iPhone-centric event, Apple briefly introduced a new second-generation AirPods case that features support for wireless charging.

The AirPods Case is physically identical to the current-generation AirPods Case, with the exception of a charging indicator light located on the outside of the case instead of the inside.


Apple's new AirPods Case will work with the company's upcoming "AirPower" wireless charging mat, which will be able to charge the AirPods, the Apple Watch Series 3, and the iPhone X or iPhone 8 simultaneously.

Apple does not yet appear to be offering the new AirPods Case either on a standalone basis or in a set with AirPods. It may be coming at a later date, as the AirPower charging accessory is not expected to ship until 2018.

Tag: AirPods

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Here’s Your First Look at the New Version of Apple’s AirPods

In yet another leak sourced from the iOS 11 GM, developer Steve Troughton-Smith has uncovered a render of the new version of Apple's AirPods. Troughton-Smith noted that while a render of the "iPhone X" has not been discovered within the firmware (yet), the LTE Apple Watch and now the new AirPods each have renders in the golden master of iOS 11.

Image of new AirPods via @stroughtonsmith

Unsurprisingly, the new AirPods look a lot like the old AirPods, with an all-white charging case and white buds. The case has the same clamshell design as the current model, but has one noticeable difference: the LED charging indicator "status light" has moved from the inside of the case to the outside.

When the AirPods are in the case, the LED shows the charge status of the pods, but if they are removed from the case then the LED shows the status of the case itself. Green indicates charged, while an amber glow means less than one full charge remains. In today's short video, the LED appears to be flashing white, which Apple's support website currently explains as an indication that the AirPods are ready to be set up with another device, suggesting some of the same LED patterns will be on the new AirPods.



Last night, the first wave of iOS 11 GM leaks included references to "AirPods 1,2," which could be the updated version of the wire-free headphones that have been shared today. Of course, with just one image and a two-second clip it's impossible to say what other new features might be coming to AirPods 2.0, or if Apple is ready to announce the new model as soon as Tuesday's upcoming iPhone X event.

Tag: AirPods

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win Custom-Painted Black AirPods From BlackPods

For this week's giveaway, we've once again teamed up with BlackPods to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a pair of AirPods that have been painted black to better match darker devices. Our last BlackPods giveaway was one of the most popular we've done, so we thought we'd get a second pair of BlackPods out to one of you.


If you missed our first giveaway, BlackPods takes a set of Apple's AirPods and then paints them using a proprietary coating system that's been designed just for the AirPods. It uses a three-phase finishing procedure for a high-quality finish, and each pair of BlackPods is completed by hand and given a "rigorous" quality inspection.


BlackPods sells the BlackPods Classic in a high-gloss black finish, and the BlackPods Stealth in a matte satin finish. The company charges $279 for the BlackPods Classic, while the BlackPods Stealth are priced at $299. Apple's AirPods are normally priced at $159, so that's a $120 to $140 premium, but the finish is impeccable and is otherwise unobtainable.

Along with selling finished sets of painted AirPods, BlackPods also allows customers to send previously purchased AirPods for customization. The painting service costs $99 for glossy black and $119 for matte black. The process takes approximately 10 days and covers both the AirPods and the Case.


BlackPods are simply re-painted AirPods, so the functionality is the same as standard AirPods directly from Apple, with a W1 chip for simple pairing, long battery life, accelerometer-based ear detection, and gesture support.

We have one full set of BlackPods to give away to a MacRumors reader, with the winner able to choose either the Stealth or Classic finish. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (September 8) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on September 15. The winner will be chosen randomly on September 15 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.


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AirPods Shipping Estimates Improve to 1 to 2 Weeks

Apple is one step closer to achieving supply/demand balance for its AirPods, and the highly desired earphones are now shipping out from the online Apple Store in just one to two weeks in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, and several other countries around the world.

According to Apple's website in the United States, AirPods ordered today will be delivered between September 21 and September 28, the best estimates we've seen since the AirPods became available for purchase.


AirPods have been in short supply since launch. For many weeks, AirPods shipping estimates were at six weeks, but stock improved enough in early August that shipping estimates dropped to four weeks. Later in the month, estimates improved to two to three weeks before hitting one to two weeks today.

At this rate, Apple will be close to achieving an adequate supply later this month or at the beginning of October.

During Apple's third quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple had boosted AirPods production capacity and was "working very hard" to get AirPods to customers as quickly as possible.

Though AirPods have been hard to come by from the online Apple Store, Apple retail stores have occasionally received stock and third-party retailers like Best Buy and various carrier stores have been able to offer AirPods with faster shipping on a regular basis.

Priced at $159, Apple's wire-free AirPods have been incredibly popular thanks to features like long battery life, a simple charge case, infrared sensors to detect when they're in the ear, touch-based gestures, and the W1 chip that improves Bluetooth connection and facilitates quick transfers between different devices.

Tag: AirPods

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Pebble Founder Launches Kickstarter for iPhone 7/AirPods Battery Case ‘PodCase’

After Pebble was acquired by Fitbit late last year, Pebble said that its hardware devices would continue to function as normal for at least another year, with any future support for its services heading into 2018 unclear. Today, Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky has revealed his next project, and it's a Kickstarter for a case aimed at the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that also charges AirPods, called "PodCase" (via Engadget).


The Kickstarter page describes the case as a "slim case" for carrying and charging both the iPhone and AirPods, thanks to a 2500 mAh battery. That'll provide up to one full charge for the iPhone 7 (with a 1,960 mAh battery), although not quite enough for a full charge of the iPhone 7 Plus (with a 2,900 mAh battery). That's also equivalent to "up to 40 AirPod charges," according to the PodCase's crowdfunding page.
Keeping track of your AirPod charging case is a chore. It’s one more gadget to misplace, one more item to remember when you run out the door, and one more lump of plastic in your pocket. Drop it into your bag or purse and you might as well call search and rescue! Storing your AirPods with your phone seemed only natural to us.

Charging an extra device every night is a pain. No one likes a mess of cables on their night stand, and remembering to charge your AirPods during the day isn't a great solution either. You plug your phone in every night anyway--why not charge your AirPods and your iPhone together? That's exactly what PodCase does.
The case itself is charged through USB-C, so those with the newest MacBook models will be able to fuel up PodCase through their existing chargers. A design for the iPhone 8 is said to be coming soon, but the company is waiting for the September 12 Apple event to confirm the accessory's design.


PodCase will retail for $99, but early bird Kickstarter backers will be able to buy the accessory for $79. The PodCase team also includes Avegant co-founder Allan Evans and Pebble industrial designer Steve Johns. Check out the PodCase Kickstarter page here for more information on the accessory, including a video introduction by Migicovsky.

The Kickstarter's goal is $300,015 in 30 days, and the PodCase's shipping date is estimated for February 2018.

Tag: AirPods

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