• Apple’s iPhone 12 may not ship with EarPods in the box.
  • The decision was allegedly made to help boost AirPods sales.
  • Every iPhone Apple has ever released, starting with the original back in 2007, has included headphones 

A new research report from Wedbush analyst Dan Ives claims that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 will not include EarPods in the box. Apple’s motivation here, Ives articulates, is that it will not only help Apple cut back on costs but also spur a spike in AirPods sales.

“We are hearing from our checks that likely no wired EarPods will come in the iPhone 12 box/packaging,” Ives said in an investor note, “which ultimately will create more cross-sell opportunities for AirPods over the coming year with our expectation that Apple is on an eye popping trajectory to now sell 85 million AirPod units up significantly vs. 65 million in 2019.”

If Ives’ claim is accurate, it would mark the first time Apple has ever released a new iPhone without headphones of some kind. And if you’re justifiably skeptical that Apple would ever do this, it is worth noting that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — who has a stellar record with respect to Apple rumors — issued a research report last month effectively predicting the same thing.

Personally, I find the notion that Apple would release an iPhone without headphones hard to believe. Specifically, the idea of Apple not bundling headphones with a new iPhone simply as a means to increase AirPods sales seems like the type of petty move Apple has historically avoided. What’s more, for a company that values the user experience as much as Apple does, it seems far-fetched that the company would release a new iPhone and force users into an additional purchase if they want to listen to audio in private.

Stranger things, however, have happened. And for all we know, Apple’s reasoning is that most iPhone purchases come from existing iPhone owners and, in turn, most iPhone buyers likely already have wired iPhone headphones. Still, this seems like one rumor worth taking with a huge grain of salt.

EarPods aside, Apple this year has an ambitious next-gen iPhone lineup to say the least. This coming September, the company is expected to unveil four new iPhone models, all with OLED displays and support for 5G. We can also expect a slew of camera improvements, a new iPhone 4-inspired design, and of course, a brand new A14 processor.

As far as an iPhone release schedule is concerned, we’ve seen reports indicating that Apple’s new iPhones will arrive in October due to some delays in the design and testing process on account of the coronavirus. And as has happened in years past, there’s also a chance that Apple’s top of the line iPhone 12 Pro models may not hit stores until sometime in November.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.