Apple has stopped selling third-party headphones and speakers in its stores ahead of an imminent launch of its audio products. As Bloomberg reports, the company is no longer selling gear from Sonos Inc., Bose Corp., and Logitech International SA.
After conspicuously selling equipment from third-party manufacturers directly via its e-commerce store, Apple yanked them all out at the end of last month. Employees at physical retail stores have also been directed to remove third-party rival products.
The news follows rumors that have been doing rounds in the recent past about Apple working on its high-end Apple-branded over-ear headphones.
The publication notes that this strategy is not new to Apple. Earlier in 2014, ahead of the introduction of the Apple Watch, Apple first cleared its shelves of rival wearable devices from Fitbit.
Currently, Apple has listed its true-wireless earphones, AirPods Pro, and AirPods, and has limited headphone sales to its Beats Brand.
In response to the sudden change, Apple says the move is part of its ongoing regular changes to products its sells as new third-party accessories are released, which change consumer needs.
Apple Stores continue to sell a curated group of third-party accessories to help customers get the most out of Apple devices, the company said.
Apple’s wireless earbuds have risen in popularity in the recent past owing to their quality and features and tight integration to the company’s ecosystem. As such, they make a pretty good candidate for truly wireless earphones to any iPhone owner.
Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion (in a cash and stock deal) on August 1, 2014, and has continued to churn out quality headphones under the brand. But earlier this year, Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-spoken TF Securities analyst, said the company is working on high-end headphones that will have its name instead of the Beats brand.
Earlier reports suggested that these headphones will have interchangeable parts.
For now, there are no further details on the upcoming high-end Apple-branded headphones.