Don’t bet on getting AirPods Studio for Christmas

Christmas is a time for miracles, and maybe Tim Cook will drop a pair of AirPods Studio down your chimney on the 24th of December. But personally – and call me David Scrooge if you must – I think the odds are against it.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of the ‘Christmas AirPods Studio’ theory.

Reasons not to expect the AirPods Studio

Here in Apple Journalism Land we’ve just come through a long and frankly hellish three-month period in which Cupertino has had the audacity to host three separate events. In normal years you’d expect one September event for the new iPhone and Apple Watch; a few times there have been two, with an October event tacked on to deal with the iPads. But three in consecutive months, September, October and November, is unprecedented.

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but we don’t expect a fourth event in December. Aside from the weirdness of following an event called One More Thing with another called presumably Just A Minute There’s Something Else I Forgot To Mention, even Apple would surely recognise a four-event sequence as outstaying its welcome. And it’s hard to see why any remaining products couldn’t have been tacked on at the end of one of the previous three events.

It’s worth thinking about timing, too: announcing a product in December is simply too late. The holiday shopping period (or Christmas as we call it in the UK) is all-important, and by mid-November that market is already starting to melt away. Some people have already done their Christmas shopping, and their numbers are going to grow by the day between now and 24 December.

Finally, let’s give some props to the controversial leaker Jon Prosser, who took some knocks this year but is ending it on a hot streak. He called the November event successfully and now says the AirPods Studio will have to wait until spring. He’s not always right, but he’s right more often than not – and Bloomberg agrees with him.

Reasons to expect the AirPods Studio

Pretty much the only reason to expect AirPods Studio in December – aside from just wanting them to launch as soon as possible – is a cryptic tweet by another reliable leaker. And it’s hard to be sure the leaker is even being serious.

L0vetodream, who really does get a lot of Apple predictions right, tweeted that we can expect to “get a Christmas surprise from Apple” which will be “good for winter”. This caused a predictable amount of fuss, but was promptly walked back in a follow-up tweet where the leaker claimed “I did not mention what exactly is the ‘Christmas gift’, and the date. This is just a game, a riddle game where some of you likes to play…”

What does “good for winter” mean? Over-ear headphones technically fit that because they keep your ears warm. This is very vague, and personally I’d say that products that are good for winter are ones you use inside, but that’s the main rationale for believing this refers to the AirPods Studio.

So let’s count the reasons to be doubtful about this.

1. As L0vetodream points out, there’s no specific prediction here. A Christmas surprise could be anything – it doesn’t even need to be a product. It might be the return of the 12 Days Of Christmas marketing promotion Apple used to do in December/January.

2. It doesn’t guarantee or even mention an event, and the fact that Apple called the last event One More Thing strongly suggests we shouldn’t expect one. But would Apple release a product as highly anticipated as the AirPods Studio in a press release?

3. L0vetodream is clearly not being totally serious, and says they’ve retired.

4. Even if this is serious, L0vetodream might have got this wrong.

Will Apple prove me wrong? I hope so, because I’d love to get my hands on a pair of new Apple over-ear headphones. But I’d prepare yourself for disappointment if the AirPods Studio are on your Christmas list.

For discussion of the other new headphones Apple has up its sleeve, read our guide to the latest new AirPods rumours. And don’t forget to check for the latest bargains in our guide to the best AirPods deals.

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