According to the latest leaks regarding iPhone 12, Apple might not include wired EarPods in the accessories bundle in the new flagship smartphone’s box. Tech analyst Ming Chi Kuo reports that the decision to remove wired headphones from the box is to promote sales of AirPods and AirPods Pro. Currently, the wired earphones retail for $29 and AirPods start from $159.
Based on the assumption that customers will opt for AirPods instead on other headphones available in the market, Kuo explains that the move hopes to increase AirPods sales, especially in the upcoming holiday season. He also added that Cupertino tech giant will also offer attractive discounts on all AirPods models to make up for decline in sale due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Kuo’s estimates sale of 93 million units of the Bluetooth-wireless earbuds models in 2020.
According to Kuo, no new AirPods models will be released this year. New models of the wireless-Bluetooth earbuds are expected to launch in 2021.
Apple’s plans for AirPods
Kuo is not the only tech analyst highlighting Apple’s plans to promote AirPods at the expense of its wired EarPods. Earlier this month, Jon Prosser, a leaker with credible track record reported that Apple’s eventual plan is to phase out Beats brand to divert market attention to AirPods. Prosser’s assumption is based on the fact that the company’s employees can purchase Beats products at discounted rates.
It is an interesting claim knowing that Beats too is owned by Apple. Acquired in 2014 for $3 billion, Beats products are sold under their original branding on Apple’s online and retail stores. Having said that, a recent change in leadership substantiated this claim. Head of Apple Music, Oliver Schusser was appointed the President of Beats.
If the report turns out to be true, it will be first time that an iPhone is shipped without headphones in the box. It will be interesting to note user reaction when they are pushed to buy an audio-accessory instead of being provided one with the new iPhone 12 models. Since the first iPhone, wired EarPods have been part of the accessories bundle in every iPhone box. Even when Apple removed the headphone jack in iPhone 7, Lightning dongle and Lighting EarPods were shipped in the box.
Side note: the reaction of headphone jack’s removal was not received well.