The iPhone 12 box may be a little bit lighter than you’re expecting — as Apple stops packaging its smartphones with wired EarPods to try and push sales of the AirPods.
That’s according to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a note sent to clients Wednesday. Kuo also thinks that Apple could offer big discounts and promotions related to the AirPods this holiday season. That would coincide with the arrival of Apple’s next-gen iPhones — minus free packaged earbuds.
Apple has packaged EarPods with the iPhone since the original in 2007. If Kuo’s report is accurate, this would be the first time that Apple has ever released a new phone without them.
In the past, it has slightly varied the accessories, though. For instance, the year Apple removed a headphone jack from the iPhone (with the iPhone 7), it packaged a dongle so that users could continue using their old 3.5mm headphones. The company no longer does that.
Stopping packaging headphones with the iPhone would undoubtedly cause a flurry of angry hit pieces and op-eds online. But it probably would have the desired effect of driving sales of the AirPods.
AirPods have been a massive hit for Apple
With sales of the iPhone having flattened in recent years, Apple has been looking to other parts of its business to make up some of the shortfall. Some of that is launching new services like Apple TV+ and Apple News+. But its “hearables” division has also been an enormous hit. In 2020, Apple is projected to sell more than 100 million AirPods units. Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, recently said that, “It was almost like wildfire how quickly it spread. [AirPods have] done even better than we could ever imagine.”
The iPhone 12 is expected to bring a slew of upgrades including OLED screens on every model, 5G support, and more. According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, it is set to make its debut in October, slightly later than the usual September keynote due to the effects of coronavirus.