Apple's inability to ship its new AirPods wireless ear buds before the holiday sales season wasn't its first misstep in providing product at the end of a year.
Even so, one analyst discounted the damage done. "I think it's a minor blow to the brand, but not a big one, long term," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. "[But] if there are continued hiccups then this, of course, changes."
When Apple in September introduced the $159 AirPods alongside the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, executives said that the headphones would be available in October. But late that month, Apple confirmed that the AirPods were delayed. It did not offer a reason for the postponement or schedule a new ship date, instead saying, "We need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers."