Bloomberg has reported that Apple will no longer carry audio devices made by Sonos, Bose and Logitech at its physical retail locations. The piece of news comes on the same day that the Cupertino company announced the date and time of its upcoming iPhone 12 release event.
What it probably means
The move probably reflects Apple’s strategy to boost its ecosystem by introducing new devices to its lineup. Ahead of the most recent Apple Event, I speculated that the company could announce its StudioPods or AirPod Studio in September – Apple’s entry into the over-the-ear headphone market. While it did not happen, I am increasingly convinced that this and other home and wearable devices must be in the pipeline for a near-future release.
The question that remains is the timing. MacWorld believes that the new earphones would see the light of day as soon as this year. There is a chance that brand new devices could even be announced this month, alongside the iPhone 12.
Everything is speculation at this point. But considering that the iPhone 12 and the Mac models with Apple silicon are far more important product announcements, I doubt that new headphones or speakers will attract the spotlight in the next couple of weeks.
Why is it relevant?
Apple spent most of the past decade and a half building up its user base. Now, popular devices like the iPhone and iPad have reached maturity, and the Cupertino company needs to find growth opportunities elsewhere. To do so, it has the benefit of the ecosystem: upselling existing Apple consumers.
This is why a business like home and wearables has become so valuable. Notice below how the segment, accounting for only 5% of total revenues in 2016, produced substantially more top-line growth for Apple in the past couple of years than other product categories. Therefore, expect the device maker to add more fuel to this fire going forward.
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