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Surprise: Samsung is making AirPods for the Galaxy S8

Published Dec 31st, 2016 12:02PM EST
Galaxy S8 Rumors: AirPods
Image: Jose Sanchez/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Yes, Samsung launched its own wireless earphones a while ago, the Gear IconX, so it’s not like Samsung is now looking to copy Apple’s wireless AirPods. But that doesn’t change the fact that Samsung continues to get its inspiration from its biggest rival — it’s not like the IconX has been flying off the shelves.

Unnamed sources told SamMobile that Samsung is looking to launch a wireless headset alongside its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8. It’s unclear at this time whether they will be sold separately like the IconX or Apple’s AirPods, or whether they’ll be included in the Galaxy S8’s box.

Furthermore, it’s not known if the headphones will have Harman internals. In fact, it’s not even clear if Samsung is going to launch an IconX v. 2.0 generation, or whether it’s going for a brand new design for the newer model. The IconX headphones are also fitness trackers and come with built-in storage for music.

The Galaxy S8 is rumored to come without a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack just like the iPhone 7 and other Android handsets, which means Samsung wants customers to use either USB-C headphones or wireless ones.

Apple’s AirPods, announced together with the iPhone 7, generated plenty of interest and excitement in spite of the criticism Apple received for its “courageous” killing of the standard audio jack. It’s likely Samsung wants some of that attention for the Galaxy S8. Given that the Galaxy S8 will be a brand new product, Samsung is also working on brand new accessories for it, and the IconX may be too old to compete with the AirPods cool factor.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.