Proposal: Discounted AirPods in the iPhone 12 Box

Apple AirPods coming out of case

Currently, when you buy an iPhone online, there’s a “page 2” option to also purchase a set of AirPods at full price. But I think there’s a nifty, alternative choice: discounted AirPods

Discounted AirPods

It all started with two articles we saw.

  1. Apple May Aim to Boost AirPods Sales by not Including Headphones in iPhone 12 Box
  2. 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?

Apple's EarPods are (IMHO) not only uncomfortable, they fall out of my ears far too often.
Apple’s EarPods come free with all new iPhones—so far.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

AirPods look like wireless EarPods; their battery case looks like dental floss.
AirPods look like wireless EarPods.

A Proposal

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:

  1. No headphones at all.
  2. Traditional EarPods (no charge).
  3. Standard AirPods (additional $99)
  4. 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?

4 thoughts on “Proposal: Discounted AirPods in the iPhone 12 Box

  • I have no issue with this as long as you can get EarPods AND get the discounted AirPods. From a marketing standpoint offering AirPods at time of purchase at a discount is brilliant, but there are occasions where Bluetooth-only units do not fit the bill. Also of note is the limited lifespan of rechargeable earphones and the fact that, despite advances in Bluetooth technology, you are still compressing (in many cases) an already compressed audio file.

  • This seems to be the most rational way for Apple to handle a move like this. Place EarPods, AirPods (or Pros), or nothing as a choice when purchasing. EarPods would be free, they’d look like idiots if they began charging for them. But a discount on the AirPods would be more than likely only available with an iPhone purchase. It’s a now or never kinda thing.

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