It seems like only yesterday that articles were popping up around the web talking about the unavailability of Apple’s new Premium In-Ear Headphones with Mic and Remote due to the product being redesigned. Wait, it was only yesterday. Well, that was then, and this is now, and the headphones are now available at the Apple Store website, albeit with a shipping time of 7-10 days.
Originally announced at the “Let’s Rock” iPod even in September, and slated for an October ship date, the in-ear headphones are priced at $79. They’re meant to compete with high-end, audiophile-targeted devices from industry leaders like Bose and Shure, but according to some sources, they weren’t achieving that lofty standard, which lead to the extended delay.
The price point is significantly lower than the $200-range of the headsets the Apple-branded earphones are supposed to compete with. And with the inclusion of a built-in mic, without the need for bulky attachments or adapters, they provide a tempting option for users dissatisfied with the headset that ships with the iPhone. Users of the new iPod touch will also be a key target market for Apple, since the portable media player now supports audio input, though there is no mic on the device itself.
7-10 business days puts the new headset firmly in your hands in time for the holidays. The same cannot be said for the far less expensive Apple Earphones with Mic and Remote, which shows a 3-4 week wait for delivery. It’s possible that this is due to higher demand, but it’s also possible that Apple is showing short stock in order to push holiday shoppers towards the more expensive in-ear set. It’d be a risky move, since they’d lose shoppers unwilling to spend the extra $50 on a gift, but enough people might make the jump to make it a shrewd move on Apple’s part.
Oddly, the headset does not seem to be compatible with the iPhone, though it remains to be seen if this is a fact, or an oversight in the documentation.
Let us know if you’re placing an order, and whether you think $79 earphones actually can compete with much more expensive models.