“Apple wants to push consumers further into a wireless world. Its tactics: Eliminate the standard headphone jack in its newest iPhones and market new “AirPods” — tiny wireless earbuds that the company claims greatly improve on standard Bluetooth technology,” Brandon Bailey reports for Associated Press. “But that strategy has some risks.”

“Start with the AirPods themselves. These are a pair of earbuds, each with an inch or so of protruding plastic, and nothing else — no wires to hold them together, no dangling cords,” Bailey reports. “If they live up to Apple’s claims, they’re a technological marvel, tiny and expensive. And, perhaps, also easily dislodged or misplaced. Analysts at IHS Technology say that Apple used a smooth-surfaced design that doesn’t conform to the shape of the ear, and note that having AirPods fall out while running or biking ‘is less forgivable at the $159 cost level.’ Or as Bob O’Donnell, a veteran consumer tech analyst at Technalysis Research, puts it: ‘You start losing those things at $160 a pair, you’re going to go crazy.'”

MacDailyNews Take: See: Whoever makes the first AirPods strap is going to get rich.

“Apple senior vice president Philip Schiller made it clear Wednesday that the company sees a future where its sleek gadgets are no longer encumbered by cords at all. ‘It makes no sense to tether ourselves with cables to our mobile devices,’ he said during the company’s annual fall product event,” Bailey reports. “Apple did make an effort to improve on standard Bluetooth technology, which can be unreliable and obstinate when used to ‘pair’ wireless headsets with phones or other devices. The new AirPods are based on Bluetooth standards. But in addition to special sensors, a microphone and noise canceling technology, they have a processor chip designed by Apple, combined with software that Apple says will make it simple to sync them with an iPhone, Apple Watch and other Apple gadgets… The new ‘AirPods’ will work with Bluetooth-enabled devices made by Apple’s rivals, but they won’t have the ease-of-pairing that comes with Apple’s software.”

“Some early reviewers are already captivated by the AirPod,” Bailey reports. “‘They fixed Bluetooth headsets,’ said tech analyst Patrick Moorhead, of Moor Insights & Strategy, after trying a pair. ‘I think Apple has a real winner here.'”

Read more in the full article here.

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