For years now, rumors have been claiming that Apple is working on its own pair of over-the-ear headphones, and it feels like we might finally be closing in on their reveal. No doubt that phrase has been uttered plenty of times over the past couple of years, but today, some intriguing evidence for the impending arrival of these headphones surfaced. As it turns out, Apple has stopped selling audio accessories from a number of third-party companies.
Anyone who has been on Apple’s website or into one of Apple’s stores knows that the company doesn’t just sell its own products and those of its subsidiaries, but also an array of third-party accessories that play nice with iOS and Mac devices. These third-party products can include anything from cases to keyboards to toys, and up until today, the third-party lineup included audio products like headphones and wireless speakers.
As Bloomberg has discovered, however, those third-party audio products are now missing from Apple’s website. Specifically, the company has removed listings for Bose, Sonos, and Ultimate Ears headphones and speakers, suggesting it’s clearing the field ahead of launching its own audio products. Bloomberg also notes that retail employees have been directed to remove these products from Apple’s retail stores as well.
This could indicate that the reveal of Apple’s long-rumored over-the-ear headphones could finally be happening soon. As Bloomberg points out, Apple is also rumored to be launching a smaller version of its HomePod speaker. If the launch of these two products truly is on the horizon, then removing competing products from Apple.com and Apple’s retail stores could mean that all eyes are on Apple’s new headphones and HomePod when they do arrive.
It looks like this could very well a permanent change too, with both Bose and Ultimate Ears confirming to Bloomberg that Apple no longer sells their products. Ultimate Ears went so far as to confirm that Apple stopped selling third-party speakers from September onward, so there could indeed be a big announcement on the way. Stay tuned for more.