Colorful AirPods almost launched by Apple; last-minute cancellation

One of the most oft-heard complaints about Apple’s AirPods is that they are only available in white. Many have wondered why the company doesn’t offer a range of colorful AirPods, to match iPhone colors.

The same Apple collector who yesterday revealed that Apple prototyped a color-matched MagSafe charger says that the company did the same for AirPods – and came very close to launching them …

Kosutami collects Apple prototypes and rare products, with one or more sources within the company to provide him with both the devices and at least some of the story behind them.

He yesterday showed a prototype of a color MagSafe charger in Starlight, one of Apple’s iPhone colors. However, it seems that project didn’t get beyond the prototype stage.

Today he’s shown photos of a color AirPods case, and says that Apple planned to release these back in 2016.

Apple planned to make Pink, ProductRED, Purple, Black, Blonde. Reason of that: they wanted to match the color with iPhone 7. (Purple version of iPhone 7 cancelled at last)

The company doubtless prototypes plenty of potential products, with most of them going no further. However, in this case, Kosutami’s source tells them that it wasn’t canceled until late in the development process.

It hasn’t cancelled until DVT or PVT Stage, which means they didn’t cancel the plan until they were close to the launch

DVT is design validation test. This is the stage at which actual production processes are used to verify that the device can be manufactured using the planned approach, so that everything needed for the production line can be finalized. PVT is product validation test, the final stage before mass-production. At this point, all of the production equipment has been locked in, and attention is turned to fine-tuning production to ensure that it meets both quality and line speed requirements.

Interestingly, it’s unclear from the photos whether Apple intended to limit the color choices to the charging case only, or the actual AirPods. The former would seem an odd decision, but the photos do show white AirPods (in a blue protective wrap) inside a color case.

It would also be odd to cancel a planned product line at such a late stage. Kosutami apparently has no information on the reason for Apple abandoning the plan. If you want colorful AirPods, expensive custom paint jobs still remain your only option.

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