KEY POINTS

  • Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple might stop shipping EarPods with the iPhone 12 series
  • This might be to help Apple drive up demand for the AirPods
  • iPhones have always been shipped with EarPods

EarPods have always been shipped with iPhones ever since Apple released its first handset more than a decade ago. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, claims that the Cupertino tech giant might stop doing this with the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, which means fans shouldn't expect to see wired earphones coming with the handsets anymore.

In an investor's note seen by MacRumors, Kuo said he expects Apple to stop shipping out wired EarPods starting with every iPhone 12 unit sold later this year. The analyst said he expects this move to increase the demand for Cupertino's popular wireless audio accessory, the AirPods and the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro.

Kuo added that he is expecting an increase in AirPods shipments this year. This is due to be caused by Apple working to end the AirPods supply problems that occurred late last year. It could also be due to a possible AirPods promotion that Cupertino could offer sometime later in the year, likely along with the release of the new iPhone lineup.

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

The famed analyst also noted that while fans have been waiting for a new AirPods model to be released this year, the earliest that it could happen is 2021. He previously said that the “AirPods Pro Lite” device people have been talking about could actually be a part of the Beats lineup, not an AirPods model.

No more earpods in the box?

Mashable noted that the move to stop shipping wired EarPods with every iPhone could actually be a good thing for the environment.

Smartphones, regardless of company, have always included wired earbuds in the box. This means every person who has bought a smartphone likely have at least one at home. Some might use these wired earbuds, but some –particularly those who have bought more handsets in recent years– have no need for them.

Nevertheless, it's easy to expect backlash from consumers who always want to get value for their money, even if they don't really use the earbuds that come with the device in the box. Selling the iPhone 12 lineup for lower prices, however, might make people more receptive to the move.