Apple pulls rival products ahead of new HomePod, AirPods launch

Apple pulls rival products ahead of new HomePod, AirPods launch
(Image credit: Future)

We've been waiting quite some time for Apple's hotly-anticipated HomePod Mini smart speaker and AirPods Studio headphones, and while there's still no big announcement regarding the official release, Apple has done something that suggests an announcement is imminent – the Cupertino giant has removed competing products made by Bose and Sonos from its shelves. 

As noted by Apple Insider (and first reported by Bloomberg) Apple has ceased online sales of third-party headphones, earphones and speakers, probably to clear the way for its own new audio products. 

A quick delve into Apple's online store shows no products from Bose or Logitech's Ultimate Ears brand for sale apart from one Ultimate Ears charging dock, and typing "Sonos" into the search bar only reveals Apple alternatives such as the original HomePod and its Beats subsidiary brand Pill+ portable speaker.

But why does all of this point to a big reveal from Apple? Well, the company has done it before: back in 2014, the firm pulled Fitbit wearables from its online offering to aid the launch of its inaugural Apple Watch.

Could Apple be clearing its (virtual) shelves ready to start shipping not one but three new products at its rumoured iPhone 12 event on 13th October – namely the new iPhone, a smaller smart speaker and Apple-branded over-ear wireless headphones? Time will tell – but if this does come to pass, it's a surefire way to rain on Amazon's simultaneous Prime Day sales event... 


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.