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Original AirPods Are Now Vintage, It Seems

Photo by Khoa Nguyen / Unsplash

Apple has officially classified its first-generation AirPods, iPhone X, and first-generation HomePod as "vintage" products. No doubt, the original AirPods, released in December 2016, revolutionised the wireless earbud market with their long-stem design and proprietary W1 chip, which facilitated seamless pairing with Apple devices allowing users to quickly connect the AirPods pair to Bluetooth.

But now the glory days of the original pair have gone since it joined the vintage list along with the iPhone X, introduced in November 2017—another milestone that marked Apple's shift towards a new era of smartphone design, featuring an edge-to-edge OLED display and the removal of the iconic home button. It introduced Face ID, a facial recognition system enabled by the TrueDepth camera, which also supported Animojis. The iPhone X's A11 Bionic chip and support for wireless charging further set it apart from its predecessors.

Original AirPods and iPhone X aren't the only products on the list, though. Apple defines a product as vintage when it has not been distributed for sale for over five years but less than seven years. The first-generation HomePod, released in February 2018, is also now considered vintage. Initially priced at $349, the HomePod aimed to deliver high-quality audio and deep integration with Apple’s ecosystem, including Apple Music and AirPlay. Its design included a high-excursion woofer and seven beamforming tweeters, powered by the A8 chip for advanced audio processing.

But falling under the vintage category doesn't mean these devices are no longer supported. In fact, these products can still receive service and repairs from Apple and authorised providers, depending on parts availability "for a minimum of five years from when Apple last distributed the product for sale." After seven years, products are classified as obsolete, at which point Apple ceases hardware service support.