Apple to launch self-branded premium headphones by 2018-end

Steve Phelps
March 6, 2018

Apple's AirPods earphones swept the market in an unexpected way and now, the Cupertino-based company hopes for an encore performance at the high end of the market. The company is allegedly manufacturing their first pair of high-end over-ear headphones, which will effectively provide further competition with brands like Bose and Beats By Dre, which they now own. In addition to that, the report says the new Apple headphones were scheduled to launch sometime at the end of this year.

Much like the HomePod, the development of Apple's over-ear headset has been an on-again, off-again affair over the past year.

Since introducing the Airpods past year, which have since become a resounding success with customers, Bloomberg reveals that Apple is looking to contribute to its budding audio repertoire.

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If the project does graduate to a consumer product, it'll be one with wireless pairing capabilities similar to the AirPods.

"With a use case centering on frictionless access to Siri and other tasks initiated by voice, AirPods really act as an extension of the iPhone", wrote NPD Executive Director Ben Arnold in a August 2017 report. There's been no indication yet on when, if ever, Apple would release these headphones. This is normal Apple behavior, so it's not really surprising to hear they'll be expensive. On the contrary, the headphones are expected to follow the footsteps of AirPod and will feature a similar set of features as well.

Keep in mind that Apple's HomePod retails for $349, but for the company itself, it costs $216 to make, resulting in smaller margins. Even if it meant cannibalizing some of sales from people who might have considered Beats headphones, it would seem like shrewd move for Apple, given that it can charge a premium just for slapping its brand on something.

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