Does it make sense for Apple to ditch EarPods with the iPhone 12?

EarPods opened
EarPods opened (Image credit: iMore)

Your iPhone box might feel a little bit lighter this fall when the iPhone 12 series is released. For the first time in the history of the iPhone, EarPods might not ship with the smartphones. If true, this movie is the correct one. However, there are a few things Apple could do to make the change less frustrating for anyone who sees the decision as a negative one.

A long time coming

Wired EarPods have shipped with every iPhone ever produced going back to 2007. I would imagine, especially in more recent years, many of those EarPods are still sitting in an iPhone box, never once getting close to a human ear.

Even before the wireless AirPods launched in late 2016, people were beginning to move away from wired audio products for their smartphones. That trend has grown considerably with the dizzy popularity of Apple AirPods (now in its second-generation), AirPods Pro, and other true wireless earbuds.

Let's assume analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is correct, and the iPhone SE (2020) is the last Apple handset to ship with EarPods. According to his report, some sort of promotional offer for AirPods could follow before the end of the year, although that won't necessarily be tired to the EarPods news.

What type of promotion

Apple isn't going to discount every future iPhone by the actual cost of a pair of EarPods. What they could do, however, is make regular AirPods more accessible to the average iPhone buyer. The easiest way to do this would be to include AirPods with every iPhone purchase starting this fall. AirPods begin at $159 versus $29 for EarPods, so that's not going to happen.

iPhone SE with EarPods

iPhone SE with EarPods (Image credit: Apple)

What Apple's more likely to do is introduce some sort of AirPods promotion for new iPhone buyers that cover traditional AirPods and AirPods Pro. For example, Apple could offer a slight AirPods discount with every iPhone purchase, or let users pay for a pair over time as they can now do with an AppleCare+ subscription.

Better yet, Apple could bundle new AirPods with every iPhone AppleCare+ subscription. That way, iPhone owners have another reason to purchase insurance, and Apple gains even more wireless AirPods followers.

We'll know soon enough. The iPhone 12 lineup is likely to be announced in October and will include four new handsets.


What are your thoughts about Apple possibly shipping new iPhones without EarPods? Let us know in the comments below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.