Mac-Related

Apple stops selling third-party audio as launch of AirPods Studio looms

You can’t find third-party audio products at the Apple Store anymore.

What you need to know

  • Apple has pulled third-party audio products from its online and retail stores.
  • Products from Sonos, Sony, Logitech, and Bose are no longer available.
  • The move has sparked rumors that Apple will soon announce its new headphones and speaker.

Reported by Bloomberg, Apple has stopped selling headphones and speakers from third-party brands like Sonos, Bose, and Sony in its online and physical stores. According to the report, every third-party brand that used to be offered on Apple’s online store disappeared from the site by the end of last month.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has long sold third-party hardware on its website, one of the largest e-commerce operations in the world. All headphones and speakers from Bose, speakers from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand and Sonos’s latest smart speaker disappeared from Apple’s online store at the end of last month, according to checks by Bloomberg.

Not only have third-party audio brands disappeared from Apple’s website, but employees at the company’s stores have also been instructed to begin pulling products from the shelves.

Employees at Apple’s physical retail locations were also instructed to remove the products for sale at stores in recent days. Shares of Sonos fell as much as 7% in extended trading following the news. The moves come as Apple develops multiple new products to expand on its audio strategy. The first Apple-branded over-ear headphones could be announced as early as this year, Bloomberg has reported. The company has also been working on a smaller version of its HomePod smart speaker.

When Bloomberg questioned the removal of third-party headphones and speakers from its stores, Apple pointed to other third-party accessories that it still sells. None of the brands whose products were pulled from its physical or digital shelves have yet responded to the outlet’s request for comment.

Apple said it regularly makes changes to the products it sells as new third-party accessories are released and the needs of customers change. It also said its stores continue to sell a curated group of third-party accessories to help customers get the most out of Apple devices. Sonos, Logitech, and Bose didn’t respond to requests for comment.

As of Monday, October 5, the only headphones that are now offered on Apple’s website are its own AirPods and AirPods Pro, as well as its lineup of Beats headphones and HomePod speaker. Apple has been long expected to announce its own over-the-ear headphones, which are currently expected to be called “AirPods Studio.” It is also rumored to be working on a smaller, more affordable version of the HomePod, expected to be called the “HomePod mini.”

With its move to remove every other brand’s products from its stores, both products could be unveiled as soon as the company’s iPhone 12 event, which is expected to occur later this month.