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iPhone 12 may not include EarPods, but don’t expect free AirPods

The forthcoming iPhone 12 will not ship with the traditional EarPods earphones in the box, according to a noted Apple analyst.

Ming Chi-Kuo, one of the more prolific Apple analysts, says the company won’t be including any wired headphones when it arrives this autumn, breaking with a long-standing tradition. Apple has always included a pair of earphones with its iPhones since launching the first device in 2007.

However, if true, it would not be a surprise to see EarPods omitted, for a number of reasons. The quality of EarPods has been derided down the years, and we’re moving further away from the need for wired headphones at all.

And, of course, Apple would much rather those purchasing an iPhone go the extra mile and purchase a pair of AirPods. And it definitely isn’t including those free in the box.

Related: AirPods Pro vs AirPods (2019)

Apple is potentially missing out revenue from those making do with EarPods, rather than take the plunge with true wireless AirPods. We don’t have any data to back that up right now, but we have to assume, at least there are plenty of folks using their EarPods.

There’s also the electronic waste factor to consider. With so many Apple consumers opting for better audio accessories, quite often those EarPods (and their plastic case) stay in the box along with that little power brick. Or worse still, it all goes directly into the trash.

The EU believes 51,000 tonnes of waste comes from disused electronic cables every year, which is part of the reason why the bloc wants Apple to drop Lightning connectors and go with standardised charging cables.

Including EarPods has been a faff for a while now given the company doesn’t include a 3.5mm headphone jack on its iPhone models anymore. Many consumers have to use a 3.5mm to Lightning connector in order to connect to their smartphones. Whether the company will continue to sell EarPods, as it does now, would also be interesting to see.

Would the absence of wired headphones affect your decision to buy an iPhone? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.


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