The largest of the AirPods line, Apple’s AirPods Max, appear to be suffering from supply issues, with delivery dates between February 8 and 15 right now (20 days for AirPods Max? That’s too much). The shortage seems to affect the five color variants of the AirPods Max, so it does not seem like something random from specific requests for one of the available models.
Currently, if you place an order for AirPods Max through the Apple Store Online, the company says you can expect that order to arrive sometime in the second week of February. If you want to get your hands on the AirPods Max before then, you can try your luck at the Apple Store, but even physical store availability in most major cities is limited at the moment. Also in other places like Amazon they seem to have little stock, where new AirPods Max would be delivered between mid-February and the end of March.
There’s no obvious reason AirPods Max shipping times have been delayed by up to three weeks from orders a week ago. Following some stock limitations after their initial release, the AirPods Max have been readily available from both Apple and third-party stores.
The AirPods Max were first released in December 2020, so they’re due an update by Apple’s standards. Sometimes, and as rumors have fueled, these sudden stock reductions can be an indication that a product update may arrive at any time. Trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently reported that Apple is reading a second-generation version of the AirPods Max, but a release isn’t expected until sometime in 2024.
One possibility is that Apple is not planning a full update to the AirPods Max imminently, but is planning to release new colors (and the ones that have been leaked or shown in renders, leave a lot to be desired. Let’s hope not these). . That might explain why supply is limited right now, with no imminent second-gen release. These color changes are something we’ve seen Apple do with other products, like the bands for the Apple Watch and HomePod mini.
But for now, we wouldn’t make a big deal about delays in shipping the AirPods Max. It’s likely just a supply chain hiccup that Apple will sort out soon. However, if you are thinking of buying some and you are not sure if you want new colors, wait a few days to see if the shipments are resolved or the renewal rumor may gain much more strength.