Apple is reportedly preparing to launch its rumored AirPods Studio headphones by clearing out competing models from its online and retail stores.
If you've walked into an Apple store in the past few years, you probably noticed over-ear headphones from third-party sellers, like Sonos, Bose and Logitech, among Apple's tablets, phones and laptops. Those days are reportedly over now that Apple is set to release its first pair of over-ear noise-cancelling headphones.
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According to a Bloomberg report, Ultimate Ears, an audio brand owned by Logitech, was told by Apple that “they will no longer carry third-party speakers at retail from September onwards.” Apple said it will continue to sell a "curated group of third-party accessories" so customers can get the most out of their products.
The Cupertino tech giant has distanced itself from other brands as it continues to expand into new areas. If you do a search today on Apple's website, the only speaker available to purchase is a Pioneer conference speaker, a product not in competition with anything Apple sells. Instead, filling the virtual shelves are the AirPods, AirPods Pro, HomePod speakers and Beats headphones.
And soon, the AirPods Studio — a Bose 700 and Sony WH-1000MX4 competitor — is expected to join the mix. Based on various leaks, the AirPods Studio is expected to cost $399, matching the Bose 700's launch price. Those who claim to have seen prototypes of the headphones say they have a "retro" aesthetic with thin metal arms and swiveling oval earcups that can be magnetically removed.
Apple is set to release the iPhone 12 at a yet-to-be-announced event later this month where it could debut the AirPods Studio.