Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his latest investor note claims that Apple might not include the EarPods in the retail box of the iPhone 12. The move will allow the company to further boost demand for the AirPods.
The analyst also expects Apple to launch a promotional offer for the AirPods towards the very end of 2020 that will further drive the sales of the wireless earbuds. Apple has been bundling a Lightning EarPods with the iPhone ever since it ditched the 3.5mm connector starting with the iPhone 7 lineup. The move to not bundle earphones with devices is a common tactic in the Android ecosystem where OEMs tend to not bundle earphones with budget or mid-range phones in a bid to keep their price in check.
AirPods shipments in Q2 2020 are expected to decline by 29 percent to 17.2 million due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Their demand, however, is expected to pick up in the third quarter and the demand for AirPods Pro continues to remain strong. Despite the pandemic and the decline in shipments in Q2 2020, Kuo as revised his sales forecast for the AirPods for the entire 2020 from 80-90 million units to around 93-94 million units.
There have been rumors of Apple launching a refreshed AirPods later this year, though Kuo believes that it is unlikely to happen this year. The company is also working on a pair of over-ear headphones seemingly named AirPods Studio.
The removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack and the arrival of wireless Bluetooth earbuds has already led to consumers ditching wired earbuds. The market is now flooded with cheap wireless Bluetooth earbuds and even if they might not sound good, they do offer a great level of convenience. There are also plenty of Bluetooth wireless earbuds with excellent sound quality and features like Active Noise Cancellation at a reasonable price which has further helped in attracting customers.[Via MacRumors]