Apple Is Readying A Pair Of High-End Over-Ear Headphones

Muriel Hammond
March 6, 2018

According to a report originating from Bloomberg, Apple is planning to debut its own pair of premium high-end headphones later this year. It's possible Apple will redesign the headphones again before launch, or scrap the project altogether, they warned, asking not to be identified discussing private development work. However, people familiar with the plans indicate that the company has faced development challenges that might push back the release. This is normal Apple behavior, so it's not really surprising to hear they'll be expensive.

With its new headphones, the firm will also be capitalizing on its reputation as a music company, with iTunes and Apple Music remaining big businesses at the moment.

As a result, these Apple-branded headphones may cannibalise sales from another wing of the company, though it's likely that the new addition to Apple's lineup may serve as a general product for everyone while Beats specialises in catering to the varied needs of different types of buyers. Within that category, wearable product sales, which include the Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones, surged 70 percent a year ago, Apple said on a recent earnings call. Apple purchased Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and Beats has been Apple's main headphone brand until the introduction of AirPods.

Currently, the headphones are set to target the high-end of the market. Aside from noise-canceling functionality, the new headphones will reportedly have similar wireless pairing functionality to the AirPods. However, unlike what some might expect, they won't be from Beats by Dre, a subsidiary of Apple.

These Apple-branded headphones could also cannibalize Beats headphones, although Beats manages to sell lower-priced wireless headphones that probably won't directly compete with the new product.

No word as yet on how much these headphones will cost.

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