Unusable AirPods Replacements Are Being Sent to Customers – Unreleased Firmware Said to Be the Culprit


Replacement AirPods are pretty much the only solution customers have left if they have misplaced even one of them, and for a small fee, Apple is providing spare units. Unfortunately, the problem arises when those replacement Airpods are unable to work because customers have reported that they are running an unreleased 2D3 firmware. It’s an update that Apple hasn’t publicly released, which would explain why they aren’t pairing with the existing AirPod.

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Evidence found via MacRumors forum describes users receiving replacement AirPods running the 2D3 firmware. Unfortunately, the new part cannot be paired with the existing AirPod, making it completely useless.

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“Having the same problem. Had the left replaced originally and that came with 2D3. Apple then replaced the right and that came with 1A673. I could get them to pair individually, but that's ridiculous.

I eventually got through to a senior advisor yesterday who used screen sharing to take a look for himself; he was totally confused and handled it great so far. He made himself the assignee for my case and I'm expecting a call back today after he left me with some tips from engineering. Those tips didn't work and now it appears both ‌AirPods‌ are fried. I can no longer get any AirPod to pair with my phone. The case is fine since I can pair my wife's ‌AirPods‌ with my phone using my case.

The advisor did admit that I'd never be able to get these to pair since the lesser versioned AirPod wouldn't be able to update to a non-public version. He even said there's little documentation on it, and that what likely happened is when it was made, 2D3 was about to be released but ended up not coming out because of bugs.”

These replacement AirPods running the unreleased firmware were apparently sent out by Apple since March 25 or earlier. This can mean customers can potentially be without working AirPods for weeks. Since Apple’s teams are working from home at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no telling when the new and compatible 2D3 firmware will be released publicly.

To remedy the problem, Apple’s support staff are replacing affected replacement AirPods with a brand new box running an older firmware. While that’s a commendable solution on Apple’s part, it should be noted that all customers aren’t getting the same treatment, meaning all of them aren’t receiving brand new AirPods. With that being said, existing AirPods owners might have to wait indefinitely until the virus subsides so they are able to receive the best possible support in the future.

It should also be noted that the unreleased AirPods firmware problem has severely affected owners of the second-generation AirPods, but some AirPods Pro are also being affected, so keep that in mind before requesting for replacement units for the time being.

News Source: MacRumors