Crunch Report: Prince returns to Spotify

Today’s Stories 

Prince returns to Spotify and Napster this weekend
WhatsApp now supports two-step authentication
Amazon’s Tap speaker gets a hands-free update in defiance of its name
Beats X bring Apple’s wireless headphone tech to a tethered form factor

Credits
Written and hosted by: Anthony Ha
Edited by: Joe Zolnoski
Filmed by: Matthew Mauro
Teleprompter: Tomas… Read More

Beats X bring Apple’s wireless headphone tech to a tethered form factor

img_9833 It’s hard to say precisely what took Beats X so long to arrive. Unlike Apple’s own house-branded AirPods, the company didn’t really start from scratch. Sure, it’s a somewhat new form factor, but the wireless earbuds don’t stray all that far from the company’s existing lines.
But nearly six months after being announced, the headphones arrive this week. As… Read More

The delayed BeatsX wireless earbuds arrive February 10th

If you've been waiting to get your hands on a pair of BeatsX wireless earbuds, you're in luck. Today, Beats revealed on Twitter that the delayed model will arrive this Friday (February 10th). What's more, in addition to the black and white color opti…

AirPods Have Captured One Quarter of Wireless Headphone Spending Since Launching

The wireless headphone market has steadily grown over the past year, new data from research firm Slice Intelligence suggests.

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In the U.S. last month, an estimated 75% of revenue from headphones sold online came from wireless models, up from 50% in December 2015, according to Slice Intelligence. Apple’s new AirPods led the way, capturing an estimated 26% share of online revenue in the wireless headphone market since launching on December 13.

AirPods stole the top spot from Beats, which took an estimated 15.4% of online revenue in the wireless headphone market, down from 24.1% between the start of 2015 and December 13. Given it owns Beats, Apple appears to have actually taken nearly 40% of online revenue in the market since launching AirPods.

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Slice Intelligence said wireless headphone spending on AirPods launch day was ten times greater than the pre-holiday average for 2016. December 13 was also the largest single day of online headphone spending last year, according to the research firm, topping Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

The research suggests 85% of shoppers who purchased AirPods are male, of which 35% are young millennials. Female buyers tended to skew older, with 38% falling in the baby boomer generation. The gender data is based on 2,871 U.S. online shoppers who purchased AirPods between December 13 and December 31.

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Apple has not disclosed AirPods sales, with CEO Tim Cook only vaguely claiming the wireless headphones have been a “runaway success” amid “a great holiday” period. AirPods remain estimated to ship in 6 weeks in the U.S. as Apple said it is working to fulfill orders as fast as possible.

Slice Intelligence aggregated its data based on anonymized e-receipts from up to 353,926 U.S. online shoppers—the size of the user base varies per chart. But without official figures, it is impossible to determine if the data is accurate—Apple could easily follow up with very different numbers.

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Apple Discounts Beats Pill+ Speaker and Beats EP Headphones

Amid a significant delay of its newest BeatsX headphones, Apple is offering a discount on two other Beats products, the Beats Pill+ Speaker and the Beats EP On-Ear Headphones.

The Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, which comes in White, Red, and Black, is available for $199, a discount of $30 off the regular $230 price tag. Apple’s Beats EP On-Ear Headphones are also discounted by $30, dropping the price from $130 to $100. The Beats EPs are available in Blue, White, Black, and Red.

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Apple’s discount is rather unimpressive, as several third-party retailers regularly offer the Beats Pill+ and the Beats EP at that price point or lower. Amazon, for example, has the Beats Pill+ for $200, and Walmart and Best Buy both sell the Beats EP for $100.

Rumors earlier this week suggested Apple’s BeatsX wireless headphones, introduced in October, would not ship out for two to three months. Apple confirmed rumors this morning with a website update that lists a February release date for the new earphones.

Originally meant to ship in the fall of 2016, the $149 wireless BeatsX headphones feature the same Apple W1 chip used in the AirPods, which also saw delays. Apple planned to ship AirPods in October, but needed “a little more time” before releasing them.

AirPods finally became available for purchase this morning with delivery dates as soon as next week, but limited supplies caused them to quickly sell out. AirPods purchased now will not ship out to customers until mid-January.

Tag: Beats

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Apple Says BeatsX Earphones Delayed Until February

Apple has updated its website to indicate its all-new BeatsX wireless earphones will be available in February in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and several other countries, after originally saying they would launch in the Fall. Online pre-orders can still not be placed at this time.

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BeatsX earphones feature Bluetooth and the same Apple W1 chip used by AirPods, which launched today, enabling users to pair them by simply powering them on and holding them near an iPhone. Unlike the truly wireless AirPods, the BeatsX have a Flex-Form cable that keeps the earpieces tethered to each other.

BeatsX deliver up to 8 hours of battery life on a single charge. With Fast Fuel, a 5-minute charge gives users 2 hours of playback. An in-line Remote and Mic allows for users to take calls, control music playback, and activate Siri. BeatsX cost $149.95 and come in black or white with a pocket-sized carrying case.

The confirmation comes just a few days after Apple reseller B&H Photo Video said BeatsX earphones would be delayed for at least 2-3 months, which indeed suggested availability in February or March.

Apple has already released updated Beats Solo3 Wireless and Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless headphones with the Apple W1 chip.

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Apple Reseller B&H Says BeatsX Earphones Delayed At Least 2-3 Months

beatsxApple’s new BeatsX wireless earphones remain listed as “coming this Fall” on its website in the United States, despite just nine days remaining before the first official day of winter in the northern half of the world.

Now, we have reason to believe Apple may miss this target. In an email to a customer this weekend, authorized reseller B&H Photo Video said Apple has informed them shipping will not begin for at least 2-3 months.

This email is being sent in regards to your order for 1 of the Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX In-Ear Headphones (Black).

We regret to inform you that the manufacturer has informed us that they still do not know when they will begin shipping this item but they do know that it will take at least 2-3 months. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this delay has caused you.

If the timeline holds true, BeatsX shipments would not begin until around February or March. Apple could still release BeatsX earphones on its website ahead of time, before providing shipments to B&H Photo Video, but a 2-3 month gap before third-party sales begin would be unusual for an Apple product.

Apple announced the BeatsX at its iPhone 7 event in September alongside its AirPods, which were also delayed beyond their planned late October launch and have yet to become available. Apple pundit John Gruber cited manufacturing issues at scale with AirPods, so perhaps Apple is facing similar issues with BeatsX pairs.

In terms of AirPods, Gruber loosely said he has heard from at least one source who pointed to a launch in the next week or so, although Gruber is not ruling out a launch in January or later. Listen to the latest episode of The Talk Show podcast, where he and guest Glenn Fleishman discuss the topic around the 76:35 mark.

New versions of Beats Solo3 and Powerbeats3 headphones powered by Apple’s new W1 chip were released in September and October respectively.

(Thanks, Christian!)

Tags: Beats, BeatsX

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Apple’s renewed fight against AIDS includes new iPhone cases

Apple has made a tradition of marking World AIDS Day with a campaign to donate to the Product (RED) charity, and it's going the extra mile for its 10th year of support. On top of the company's existing (RED) gear (which sends a contribution to the G…