I decided several weeks ago to go ahead and pull the trigger on some AirPods. Silly me, I figured almost a year after they were initially released that I would just walk into an Apple Store and, you know, buy an Apple Product from the Apple Store. Boy was I wrong. They didn't even have a space on the shelves for AirPods in the Apple Store. I figured I was just missing them so I asked an employee and they kinda looked at me like I was from Mars. They said there was a 6-week backlog on them and that the only way I was going to get a pair was to order them online and wait the 6-weeks. Now, I was in Australia at the time so figured this must be some kind of strange local run they were having on AirPods in Australia. I figured when I got back to the States that I would be able to pick up a pair pretty easily. I was wrong.
Turns out that even after almost a year, Apple has still not caught up with the demand for AirPods. I can't remember the last Apple product that held on to a backlog for as long as the AirPods have. So when I got back to the U.S. and found out that the 6-weeks was pretty much standard world-wide I just went ahead and made the purchase online and resolved myself to the fact that I was just going to have to wait. Then about a week later reports started coming out in the news (ok, not the "news" news but the geeky Apple news I listen to) that Apple had starting making a dent in the AirPods backlog and the 6-week wait had now decreased to 4-weeks. AirPods were even starting to show up here and there in physical Apple Stores. So I kept checking the status of my order every couple of days expecting Apple to adjust my delivery date earlier, but no luck. Then on a whim I tossed a pair of AirPods in my virtual cart in the online Apple Store and checked for availability in my local Orlando Apple Store and they had some in stock! So I followed through on the purchase and then cancelled my online order. A few days later after a trip to Orlando I had my AirPods...4-weeks earlier that I would have otherwise.
So here is my advice if you looking to buy some AirPods...
- Go ahead and buy them online through the Apple Store. As I write this post there is still a 4-week wait, but just in case your other options don't yield results at least you have this as a fall back.
- Check with your local Apple Stores for stock on a regular basis. Just go to Apple's online store and when you click on AirPods to purchases them you can select in-store pickup and check for local availability. This is how I found out my local Apple Store had them.
- If you have other big electronic stores close to you like a Best Buy, AT&T, Verizon, or even a Target (I just now checked Target online and found a pair in stock near Orlando) check in with them. You just might get lucky and find a pair.
- And last but not least check out this article at iMore for even more great tips on how to track down a pair of AirPods. There is a lot of really great information in this article. I just wish the iMore article had existed when I was looking for a pair!
I'll be writing up a full review of the AirPods within the next few weeks and I'll go into why I finally decided to buy a pair. In the mean time, happy hunting...