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AirPods, AirPods Pro shortages could worsen due to coronavirus outbreak

Apple’s AirPods Pro have been under constant demand since their debut in late 2019. It all started with a two-week back-order after they sold out on Black Friday, and the situation has only gotten worse since. Now, that back-order period could grow longer and even start to affect the regular AirPod, if a recent report from Asian Nikkei Report is accurate. “Luxshare Precision Industry, also known as Luxshare-ICT, Goertek and Inventec, the three key manufacturers of the AirPods, have halted the majority of production,” it said.

The production stoppage is mostly due to a lack of key parts that are used to assemble Apple’s true wireless earbuds. “The three companies now have at most two weeks’ worth of materials and components needed for AirPods assembly, and must wait for component makers across China to restart operations in order to receive fresh supplies,” the report said.

Currently, Apple.com is showing delivery times of just a few days for its AirPods and AirPods with the wireless charging case. Wait times for the AirPods Pro, however, are considerably longer and now stand at about a month: If you were to order them today, Apple is committing to a March 9 delivery date.

Suppliers and manufacturers are expected to return to work on Monday, but it’s still unknown how the disruption will ultimately affect the availability of the three AirPods models. “Because of the virus outbreak, it has already been about two weeks since the assemblers have shipped any new AirPods series,” a source told Asian Nikkei Report.

Digital Trends reached out to both Apple and Luxshare Precision Industry for comment, but neither responded by the time of publication. We will update this article when we hear back.

Recently, Apple’s AirPods Pro were affected by a firmware update that reportedly reduced the effectiveness of one of its best features — active noise cancellation.

If you’ve grown tired of waiting for the AirPods Pro, or you’re concerned that the delay could grow even longer, we’ve assembled a list of the best AirPods Pro alternatives. It’s possible that the situation affecting the production of Apple’s AirPods could hit these true wireless earbuds too, but for the moment, they’re much easier to come by.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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