For the first time ever, Apple's next iPhone won't include wired earbuds in the box

Business Insider US
Apple's wired EarPods headphones
  • Apple's iPhone 12 will not come with wired headphones in the box.
  • The company made the announcement when unveiling its iPhone 12 lineup on Tuesday.
  • The omission comes as Apple's wireless AirPods have exploded in popularity in recent years and the company moves to make its packaging more sustainable.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Apple will no longer include its wired EarPod headphones in the box with its new iPhones, starting with the iPhone 12.

Apple executive Lisa Jackson announced the change Tuesday afternoon after announcing its new smartphone lineup.

The move will allow Apple to create smaller, more sustainable iPhone packaging.

It's a major change from Apple's history of including wired headphones with its wireless devices, going back to the iPod and continuing through to 2019's iPhone 11. Even when Apple dropped the headphone jack from its flagship phones in 2016, the company continued including a version of its wired EarPods in the box with a lightning plug.

Those headphones won't come in the box with this year's iPhone.

The move comes as Apple's AirPods wireless earbuds have grown in popularity, becoming an increasingly critical part of the company's product lineup. Apple's wearables, home, and accessories category, which includes AirPods and other products like the Apple Watch, has become a highlight in Apple's earnings reports during quarters in which iPhone sales have slumped.  

The growth of AirPods, along with the Apple Watch, has made the iPhone maker a leader in the wearable tech market. Apple accounted for 34.2% of the worldwide market for wearable devices in the second quarter of 2020, outpacing rivals like Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung, and Fitbit, according to the International Data Corporation.

That growth will no doubt continue, if not accelerate, as Apple fazes out wired headphones from its flagship iPhone models.

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