Apple might ship the iPhone 12 5G without earphones to boost AirPods sales

Apple might ship the iPhone 12 5G without earphones to boost AirPods sales
Apple has made some very controversial decisions in the past and this year could be no different. The company famously axed the headphone jack in 2016 and then removed the 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter from iPhone boxes two years later.

Now, with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro less than six months away, Apple could be preparing another controversial change.

Say goodbye to EarPods and hello to empty boxes!

Reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed in his latest report (via9To5Mac) that Apple might be planning to remove the wired EarPods headphones from the iPhone 12 box later this year. This strategy would mimic the change made by Google last year with the Pixel 4.

There is no word on whether the decision applies to the entire iPhone 12 series or simply a particular set of models – either the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro – but Kuo believes Apple’s desire to drive AirPods sales is behind it.

If the company no longer offers EarPods to customers, iPhone owners needing new earbuds will have to purchase either Lightning wired headphones or Bluetooth wireless alternatives such as AirPods.

Kuo says Apple may heavily promote or even discount existing AirPods towards the end of the year. That should maintain a decent level of sales until new AirPods and AirPods Pro models arrive in 2021.

Jon Prosser previously revealed that Apple is working on a pair of BeatsX-like AirPods dubbed AirPods X. These are expected to debut alongside the iPhone 12 and could benefit from the new wired headphones policy.

There has also been word about a cheaper pair of AirPods potentially be priced at $129. Unfortunately, very little is known about the product.

Could Apple product bundles be on the way?

To further entice people, Apple could introduce product bundles that offer certain iPhone and AirPods models to customers at slightly lower prices. Apple has never done this before, but the strategy has been rumored for quite some time now.

Kuo himself mentioned several “promotional plan” strategies but failed to specify what exactly he was referring to.

If Apple were to offer bundles, it could create ones that involve the Apple Watch too. One that includes the $399 iPhone SE, the Apple Watch Series 3, and a pair of AirPods could prove especially popular among customers looking to enter the ecosystem.

Of course, all of this is purely speculation at this stage and there has been no official word from Apple regarding the matter.

What will the iPhone 12 series offer?

Despite potentially ditching EarPods from the box, Apple does have several important upgrades planned for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. These involve higher resolution OLED displays on the former and ProMotion equivalents with slimmer bezels on the latter.

Newer camera sensors are to be expected on all smartphones too while those who purchase the Pro-branded devices will gain access to a LiDAR Scanner that should improve the accuracy of AR content and Portrait Mode.

Powering the flagship devices is going to be the upcoming A14 Bionic which is rumored to be manufactured on the newer 5-nanometer process, meaning customers can expect better performance and efficiency.

It should integrate a 5G modem as standard, putting the smartphones on par with many of the latest Android flagships such as the Galaxy S20 Ultra and OnePlus 8 Pro.

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