It's starting to look a lot like Apple will be putting a halt on their practice of tossing a pair of headphones in with the iPhone 12, if analysts are to be believed.
There have been murmurs about a lack of headphones from several analysts, but now never-wrong Wedbush analyst Dan Ives has confirmed what rumours have indicated might take place. He's quoted in respected Apple-focused website Mac9to5 (opens in new tab) as saying "our checks that likely no wired EarPods will come in the iPhone 12 box/packaging".
- Apple WWDC live stream: start time, how to watch, iOS 14, iPadOS, ARM Macs and more
Apple has always included a set of headphones with their devices, all the way back to the iPod days. While Apple is often the first to cut out a much-loved feature — RIP, headphone jack — they're actually behind the curve on this, as most flagship phones now ship without headphones, outside of Samsung.
Many other manufacturers ditched the headphones over the last couple of years, and it makes sense: why include a pair of headphones that people may not even use? While Bluetooth headphones are now the standard for phones, most people have their own set of cans they'd prefer to use.
So, it may not a massive blow for the Apple faithful, as many will probably be picking up a pair of Airpods. They are now spoilt for choice, with the addition of last year's noise-cancelling Airpod Pro or the rumoured third entry into the AirPods range: an over-ear set of headphones, dubbed the AirPods Studio.
However, it still feels like something that was once part of a new iPhone package is being stripped away, and nobody asked for it. For those who don't have a compatible pair of earphones it will definitely come as a blow.
The Wedbush analyst predicts this will be a big positive to Apple. AirPods have become somewhat iconic in recent years, almost as much of a lifestyle brand as the iPhone themselves. Ives is predicting that Apple will sell 85 million AirPods in 2020, compared to the estimated 65 million estimated in 2019.
So, great news for Apple, but what does it mean for consumers? Rumours suggest the iPhone 12 — some variants — could be cheaper for the lack of tech in the box. The entry-level, 5.4-inch model of the iPhone 12 could be selling for as little as $649 in the US, and every model of the iPhone 12 is likely to pack 128GB of storage in.