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DigiTimes: More smartphone makers to follow Apple in ditching headphones from boxes

Apple's EarPods with a lightning connector
Apple's EarPods with a lightning connector (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhone lineup no longer includes headphones in the box.
  • DigiTimes says other smartphone makers are likely to follow suit.
  • The move will reportedly benefit sales of true wireless products like AirPods.

A recent report from DigiTimes says that smartphone makers are likely to follow Apple's lead in ditching headphones from boxes, to the benefit of true wireless products like AirPods.

As we reported yesterday, new DigiTimes research suggests that Apple's decision to remove Lightning EarPods from the box of its iPhones will benefit sales of AirPods and its new Beats Flex headphones, and that sales momentum is already looking strong.

The report also includes a snippet stating other manufacturers are likely to follow suit:

More handset players are likely to follow in Apple's footsteps to launch new smartphone models without earbuds - a move that is likely to benefit TWS providers, said the sources.

Following the announcement of iPhone 12, plenty of manufacturers were quick to ridicule Apple's decision to take headphones, or at least chargers out of the box of the iPhone, including Xiaomi:

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DigiTimes does not mention chargers in the context of the article, and the suggestion that other manufacturers might drop headphones from boxes does seem more plausible. Like Apple, other smartphone makers such as Samsung and Microsoft have invested in their own competing true wireless products like Surface Earbuds and Samsung Galaxy Buds. If DigiTimes research suggests Apple's own AirPods will benefit from removing headphones from its boxes, it stands to reason other manufacturers could also benefit.

As noted from yesterday's report, DigiTimes states that whilst true wireless device shipments usually tail off in Q4 each year, demand remains strong in 2020, in part driven by people who need earbuds to work from home without distraction. The report could well indicate that some Apple customers have chosen to invest in more premium headphones to pair with a new iPhone, and that Apple's decision may open the door for other vendors to follow suit.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.