Apple May Eliminate free Headphones to Boost AirPods Sales

The EarPod-calypse is here… Like a free side of fries with your burger, or a pack of peanuts with your flight, Apple has always given away a “free” set of white wired headphones with your iPhone purchase. Those days may be over: Apple reportedly may not include EarPods with the iPhone 12. Let’s untangle the history…

  • First it was the headphone jack: Don’t even think about charging your phone while jamming to EarPods — Apple made that impossible when, starting in 2016 with the iPhone 7, it eliminated the classic headphone jack.
  • Then it was the wires: On the same day it forced headphones into a Lightning Connector, Apple casually intro’d its $159 wireless headphones: Airpods. But Apple was charitable enough to continue including a pair of wired EarPods in each sleek new iPhone box. Until…

The Bluetooth Fairy was extra generous… Apple posted a record quarterly profit in January, largely thanks to a 37% jump in wearables sales (AirPods Pro nailed it). Roughly 60M pairs of AirPods were sold in 2019 — turn that up over 50% to an expected 94M pairs in 2020. Looks like Apple’s 2nd profit puppy, behind just the iPhone (see ya, Macbook and iPad).


Apple has all the power in its ecosystem… From battery life to software upgrades, Apple can influence your purchases. All it takes is a new product release to make wired headphones as vestigial as iPod Nano. By giving away free earphones with each iPhone, Apple potentially hurt AirPods sales. But if the “no free headphone” reports are true, AirPods may get a boost (our drawer of rando electronic extras probably doesn’t need another set of EarPods, anyway).

Source: as reported by

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