Apple has stopped selling third-party headphones and speakers: What does this mean, and why has it happened?

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In an interesting development, it has been reported that Apple is no longer selling third-party audio products through its website. First-party headphones and speakers are being prioritised instead.

This means that, as of right now, you couldn't pop over to the Apple site and order some Bose headphones to go with your new iPhone, iPad, Mac or other Apple device of your choice. This is a fairly significant change in the way Apple does business, but perhaps it shouldn't come as a major surprise.

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Here's everything you need know about Apple's move away from third-party speakers and headphones...

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Apple stops selling third-party audio devices

Bloomberg broke this news, reporting, "All headphones and speakers from Bose, speakers from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand and Sonos’s latest smart speaker disappeared from Apple’s online store at the end of last month."

And this change is occurring in the real world, too: Bloomberg adds, "Employees at Apple’s physical retail locations were also instructed to remove the products for sale at stores in recent days. Shares of Sonos fell as much as 7% in extended trading following the news."

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What does this mean, and why has it happened?

This basically means, going forward, the only audio products you can buy from Apple will actually be made by Apple... for the most part. Things like Apple's own AirPods and HomePod and being given centre stage under this new regime.

The only exceptions seem to be products that are directly partnered with Apple (such as the official Beats Pill+), and products which don't have an equivalent in Apple's product range (like Pioneer's conference call speaker, which works with the iPhone, and doesn't directly compete with any Apple product).

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As for the reasons behind this move, it seems to be happening because Apple is gearing up to launch a new range of its own audio devices. And why would you want to sell third-party products when you can point customers directly to your first-party creations instead?

There is a precedent for this, too: back when the Apple Watch was announced in 2014, Apple stopped selling Fitbit smartwatches. So basically, the company just wants to prioritise its own products. And who could blame them, to be honest?

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