It all started with two articles we saw.
- Apple May Aim to Boost AirPods Sales by not Including Headphones in iPhone 12 Box
- The biggest change in how you use your iPhone is coming — and you’re either going to hate it or not care
In the first article: “Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple may not offer EarPods with the forthcoming smartphone in a bid to boost AirPod sales.” In the second article, “And there’s one port that’s been rumored for some time now to be headed for the chop — the iPhone’s Lightning port.”
Does the (rumored) loss of the Lightning port mean, in concert, the EarPods must go?
On The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast for May 21, we discussed whether there’s any connection between these two notions. The analysis was:
- A data & charging port of some kind will likely remain on the iPhone for some time. Probably USB-C. Loss of Lightning doesn’t mean no port at all.
- Apple has shipped EarBuds then EarPods with every iPhone since 2007. It may be that the iPhone user community is glutted with EarPods (in a drawer somewhere), and it no longer makes sense to include EarPods, especially with those retro, tasteless white wires. But strong-arming customers into an AirPod purchase seems equally tasteless.
That is, unless, Apple has another plan.
What if Apple provided a “page 1” option to purchase AirPods with a new iPhone at a serious discount? That’s the start page where you specify your color, capacity, carrier etc. There would be a new selection box:
- No headphones at all.
- Traditional EarPods (no charge).
- Standard AirPods (additional $99)
- AirPods Pro (additional $139)
This would be an extraordinarily graceful way of 1) reducing manufacturing load of obsolete EarPods, 2) providing EarPods to those who really need them while 3) stimulating AirPod sales without appearing greedy and crass. (By the way, the $99/$139 is just a placeholder. Apple would have to weigh the balance between many new AirPod users and the discounted price – now that supply constraints have eased.
The lure of getting heavily discounted AirPods only with a new iPhone purchase is a good way to make the customer feel good about the new iPhone and the demise of an old product while offering a very attractive alternative.
It’s just an idea. What do you think? Would such an offer finally propel you into being an AirPod user? What discounted price would make it a no-brainer to add AirPods?