It looks like the upcoming iPhone 12 may not come with earphones in a bid to push sales of Apple’s wireless AirPods.
Apple have a track record of making questionable moves for music lovers with their devices. Back in 2016 they shocked the world by announcing the iPhone 7 would no longer have a headphone jack, leaving millions of headphone users dismayed and thousands of party hosts silently pleased that the jack couldn’t be stolen and used for any passerby’s music.
Fortunately they included their own EarPods which use a lightning connection, so iPhone users could still listen to audio even if not with their old cans. But it looks like Apple might not even include EarPods anymore, in a bid to push sales of their incredibly popular wireless AirPods.
New AirPods are on the way but won’t launch until next year so it’s thought that, if this is the case, Apple will offer some huge discounts on AirPods to soften the blow. However it still leaves new iPhone users without, what has become, a staple with new devices – particularly when they don’t work with a more universal option: the 3.5mm jack.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has often been on point with their Apple predictions, reported on the potential lack of EarPods with the iPhone 12. Kuo predicted last year that in 2021 Apple would move towards an iPhone with no ports at all. He reckons that they will want to “provide the completely wireless experience” using wireless earphones like AirPods for music and wireless charging.
Whilst wireless technology is all well and good, it hinders something which I personally find very important: using my phone to play music on stereos/speakers. With the lightning port you could at least use an adaptor for a jack connection. I suppose that with the rise of Smart Speakers and an emphasis on Bluetooth maybe traditional aux connections will be in the minority within a few years.
Still, if these rumours are true the iPhone 12 will be the first model not to come with a pair of earphones to listen through. There’s no way they will start bundling AirPods as they’re expensive, so perhaps this is the end of an era of getting free earphones with your iPhones. We’ll have to see how that plays for Apple amongst music lovers.