Apple is reportedly scrapping the Beats headphone lineup

Apple is reportedly scrapping the Beats headphone lineup
UPDATE: 9To5Mac has published a conflicting report denying Apple's plans to phase out the Beats brand. It claims the strategy is "not one that should be viewed as being on the table for Apple" and says the company has no "plans to pursue" it. The original story continues below:

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Beats Electronics was acquired by Apple in 2014 as part of the largest deal in its history. The brand has since gone from strength to strength, but a new report by Jon Prosser suggests Apple is now preparing to retire the Beats name.

Say goodbye to Beats headphones


Apple entered the true wireless earphones market with a massive bang in late 2016. AirPods quickly became the best-selling wireless earphones on the planet, despite their relatively high price, and they still hold that all-important title today.

The company followed the original pair up with a second-gen version in March 2019 and the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro in October 2019. This helped Apple ship a whopping 58.7 million units last year alone, which gave it an outstanding 54.4% market share per market data.

Apple is now believed to be working on BeatsX-like AirPods X wireless earphones with a connecting cable for sports and running. A pair of premium over-ear headphones priced at $350 and designed to take on Bose and Beats itself are also in the works.

Once these new products have been introduced, there will be a huge overlap between the Apple and Beats headphone lineups. That is why the Tim Cook-led company is reportedly planning to phase out the Beats lineup over the coming year. 

Apple seems to be trying to reduce inventory


This long-term plan could also explain why Apple is offering big discounts on the Beats lineup right now. The Totally Wireless Powerbeats Pro, for example, are less than one year old but have already been discounted by a hefty $50 on the official website.

Apple has also taken the decision to reduce the price of its Beats Solo Pro over-ear headphones by the same amount – $50.

As part of what seems to be an even bigger attempt to reduce Beats inventory, Apple is understood to be offering its employees discounts of up to 40% on the Beats headphones lineup during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether Apple has any other Beats products up its sleeves for 2020 remains to be seen, but the recently announced Beats Powerbeats 4 may well be the last Beats product before the brand’s discontinuation.

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