KEY POINTS

  • Earlier rumors claim Apple will not include wired EarPods with every iPhone 12 unit
  • A change in the iOS 14.2 code indicates that this rumor might be true
  • If it is, this will be the first time Apple won't ship wired EarPods with iPhone units

A minor code tweak in the second iOS 14.2 beta reveals that Apple may not be including wired earbuds with every iPhone 12 handset.

The iOS 14 code, as well as codes belonging to older iOS versions, mentioned the use of “supplied headphones” to reduce exposure to RF energy, MacRumors, which spotted the change in the code, reported. Apple has been using that phrase for years but has now removed the word “supplied” in the iOS 14.2 beta 2 code.

The full code in the latest beta reads, “To reduce exposure to RF energy, use a hands-free option, such as the built-in speakerphone, headphones, or other similar accessories.”

The report also indicated that older iOS versions, including iOS 14, have always placed the word “supplied” beside every mention of the word “headphones.” The removal of the word in the new code simply suggests that Apple will not be supplying headphones with every iPhone 12 unit anymore.

This discovery supports earlier predictions made by noted TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed that Apple will not be shipping wired EarPods with the iPhone 12 series once they are released.

Apple Earpods
Earpods have always been shipped with Apple's iPods and iPhones. Reuters

The analyst said the main reason for this could be Apple's plans to increase the demand for its popular true wireless stereo earbuds, the AirPods and the noise-canceling AirPods Pro – both of which received interesting updates and improvements via iOS 14.

That said, if the report and the code tweak prove accurate, this will be the first time that Apple will not ship wired EarPods along with an iPhone unit. The Cupertino tech giant has shipped wired headphones with every handset it sold since the first iPhone.

The iPhone 12 series handsets might also be the first to be shipped without a charger included in the box. Months ago, an image showing what appears to be the iPhone 12 packaging was leaked. The packaging looked slim enough to contain just the smartphone and a few small things. There isn't any room for a charging brick.

The leaked image wasn't verified, but the recent release of the Apple Watch Series 6 might give consumers an idea. Apple didn't include a charger with its newest wearable, and it might not include one in its upcoming iPhones as well.

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