Apple Stops Selling Audio Products From Bose And Others, As It Prepares To Launch AirPods Studio and HomePod Mini
Apple has stopped selling speakers and headphones from brands like Bose, Sonos, Logitech, and others, at its retail and online stores, as it prepares to launch its rumored new audio AirPods Studio headphones and HomePod mini speaker.
Apple has always sold headphones and speakers from third-parties, including Beats before it was acquired by the company, as accessories for its own products. However, Apple is going all-in with its own branded audio products now after the success of AirPods. Although HomePod is not as successful, primarily because of its price, and availability in only 3 countries around the world, the company has removed competing products from its online store. As per Bloomberg, Apple's retail store employees have also been asked to remove headphones and speakers from other brands.
Apple had already notified Bose, Sonos, and other companies, that it will not be selling third-party speakers or headphones at its retail and online stores from September onwards.
This is not the first time that Apple has removed competing products just before it introduces its own offerings. Before the launch of Apple Watch, Apple stopped selling Fitbit at its stores, in a similar manner.
Although not officially announced yet, it is expected that Apple will be launching $350 AirPods Studio premium headphones with modular parts, and a cheaper HomePod mini speaker. These will join other products in Apple's line-up which include AirPods, AirPods Pro, Beats headphones, and Beats speaker.
It has been rumored that the Beats will also be phased out over time in favor of Apple's own branded headphones and speakers. For now, Apple only sells wireless earbuds in the form of AirPods. With AirPods Studio, the company will have high-end premium headphones available for consumers. This will leave a gap for sports-focused headphones which is currently filled up by Powerbeats and Powerbeats Pro.
However, this rumor should be taken with a grain of salt. Beats headphones and earphones cater to varying needs of users and there is no way for Apple to simply replace all of its products without replacing them with better offerings. If Apple decided that its time to sunset the Beats brand and its product offering, without coming up with suitable alternatives at various price points and with customization and feature that Beats consumers enjoy, users will be forced to look elsewhere.