(Hollis Johnson/Business Insider)
Apple's fancy new wireless earphones, the $159 AirPods, are sure to be a popular Christmas gift this year.
That is, if Apple can get them on sale in time.
The earbuds, launched alongside the iPhone 7 in September, were supposed to go on sale in "late October," but were delayed late last month.
That's set off a lot of speculation and rumors about why they were delayed and when they will actually go on sale — Apple hasn't offered a timeline yet.
Here's the latest data point, from Barclays analysts, citing Asian supply chain sources.
"We did hear that the AirPods should finally start production in December but units are fairly small at 10-15M to start," Barclays researcher Blayne Curtis and team wrote in a note distributed to clients on Friday.
Earlier, a Taiwanese trade paper reported that a supplier expected to begin "shipping AirPods in January 2017."
On the other hand, a single retail employee at Conrad in Germany made international news when he told Apfelpage.de that Apple was planning to ship AirPods to stores on November 17 ahead of a launch next week.
When Apple delayed the device, it released this statement:
“The early response to AirPods has been incredible. We don't believe in shipping a product before it's ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers."
Simply put, without official communication or a release date from Apple it's hard to tell if the AirPods will go on sale before Christmas.
If they do, there's a good chance there won't be many to go around, although orders of 10-15 million of the wireless earbuds, as Barclays believes, is a healthy number.
We've reached out to Apple and will update this post when we hear more.
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