Apple ships unusable AirPods replacements with unreleased firmware

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AirPods wall display is on show in New York.
There's nothing users can do for now.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is shipping out replacement AirPods buds with unreleased firmware that makes them unusable for now.

Some users have been holding onto new AirPods that they cannot use for more than a week. They will remain useless until Apple makes its version 2D3 AirPods firmware available to the public.

One thing you may not know about AirPods — because most of us never have to think about it — is that both buds must be running the same firmware to pair and function together.

If one bud is updated, the other won’t work correctly until it gets the same treatment. But what happens if one AirPod is running firmware that users cannot download yet?

A number of AirPods users are finding out the hard way.

Apple drops the ball on AirPods replacements

Many who have recently received replacement AirPods buds have discovered they are running version 2D3 firmware that Apple is yet to make available to the public. For now, they’re completely useless.

Without being able to update their existing buds, users are stuck. There’s nothing Apple Support can do for now — everyone is waiting for Apple to make its newest firmware available to all.

“Day 7 and Apple still hasn’t released the 2D3 firmware for my second AirPod,” wrote Sheri Bourguignon on Twitter, via iMore. “Still can’t use both at the same time. Apple Support says I must just wait.”

A growing list of other users are experiencing the same problem after ordering AirPods replacements. There’s currently no word on when the firmware might be available. We’ve asked Apple for more information.

We’ll update this story if we get a response, but as the number of complaints grows, you can be sure Apple is working to get this update out as quickly as possible.