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Apple reportedly removing Bose products from retail stores as NFL bans & Bose sues Beats


Bose headphones and audio products could soon get the boot from Apple retail stores, according to a report from MacRumors citing “a reliable source.”

While Apple’s acquisition of Beats would seem like the obvious reason behind replacing the many Bose headphones and speakers currently used with iOS and Mac demo units, the report also claims that Apple will be removing Bose products from store shelves in addition to the demo units.

The reason for the decision is unclear, but Apple did just have a recent run-ins with the company through lawsuits against Beats Electronics. In July news surfaced that Bose had filed a lawsuit against Beats Electronics over a noise-cancelling technology patent. There has also been some controversy over NFL players being fined for wearing Beats by Dre headphones after the NFL signed an agreement with Bose that barred players and staff from wearing any other brand of headphones while on camera.

Apple retail employees are reportedly preparing for the change next week with “instructions for removal being sent to employees in the coming days.” Apple also currently sells Bose products through its online store, but there’s no word if that might change next week as well. 

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  1. zoidbert - 8 years ago

    Pissing match. Apple will win it, methinks. But one thing they could do with their metric tons of cash is tell NFL players they will cover any fines received “for choosing the better product”. (It’s all marketing and reaction.)

    • thejuanald - 8 years ago

      Beats are awful, tinny, pieces of overpriced trash.

      • thejuanald - 8 years ago

        Well, their in ears at least. Their over ears are awful too, but way over compensated for in the bass

      • Beats aren’t for everyone, but Bose tactics seem like shooting themselves in the foot. Honestly the NFL band is kind of insane, same with other companies banning products in other sports. I could understand if a specific player agreed to a sponsorship, but to ban it a specific product regardless is crazy.

      • thejuanald - 8 years ago

        What are Bose tactics? Suing a company for patent infringement? Hmmm, I wonder where we have seen that before?

        Also, if I work for any company that has Toyota as a sponsor and was a person who has media presence, my company would be furious if I was seen pulling up to an interview in a Ford. That’s part of your contract signing up to work for said company, or in this case, the NFL.

      • thejuanald - 8 years ago

        Just in case you didn’t know, Bose has nothing to do with the NFL banning players from being seen in the media with any other headphone company. That’s NFL policy and it applies to all their sponsors. So, really, what is Bose doing that is shooting themselves in the foot?

      • drhalftone - 8 years ago

        To add to juanald’s comment, if the NFL didn’t enforce this new head phone policy, they would basically be giving the players to ability to sell advertising space for anything they wanted. Players could sell their shoe space, their t-shirt space, as well as their head space. Where would the NFL be without controlling every last dime in sponsorship?

      • Justin Stodola - 8 years ago

        No highs, no lows. Must be Bose.

  2. squuiid - 8 years ago


  3. Graham J - 8 years ago

    Bose definitely picked the wrong company to battle.

  4. myke2241 - 8 years ago

    disappointing move on Bose side. Bose market is really small. speakers, headphones and radios… radios are on the decline as well as speakers. headphones are a really competitive market space. Bose was better off going after athletes to wear their products rather then the completely ban the sight of others.

    • iSRS - 8 years ago

      Well, the problem with all these massive, league wide sponsorships be technology companies is this: they pay millions of dollars to have their own product advertised. The reason they are paying this amount is not to protect their first place position. The problem is that the athletes are not going to be forced to wear something else.

    • thejuanald - 8 years ago

      Just so you know, Bose isn’t banning anyone. The NFL is. Anything that the NFL sponsors gets the same treatment. Pepsi is a sponsor, so you never see anything Coke related. Microsoft is a sponsor, so everyone has Surface Pros. Gatorade is a sponsor, so there is no Powerade anywhere.

      If must be angry, be angry at the right people.

  5. airmanchairman - 8 years ago

    It must be said: the Beats advert featuring Colin strutting his way through snarling opposition fans on his team’s approach to an away-day NFL game is seriously good theatre!!

    And this is even better, a massive advert for Beats.

    Thanks Bosê; with friends like you who needs enemas?

    • hmurchison - 8 years ago

      Really good Theatre. I was furious (because the opposition was in Seahawk colors) but then the sucker punched me with the follow-up Richard Sherman ad.

      Talk about playing with my emotions.

      I think this is going to cause bad press for the NFL and Bose. I understand the league is serious about their uniforms but dictating what players listen to before or after games crosses the line.

      • thejuanald - 8 years ago

        They absolutely are not dictating what players listen to. The NFL is saying they cannot be photographed using or be sponsored by competing companies to the NFL’s sponsors. That’s absolutely typical in their contracts, and is done with every single sponsor. Whatever the player wants to use when not on company time, they can do whatever they want.

        If I worked for Toyota and was a person who has media presence, my company would be furious if I was seen pulling up to an interview in a Ford.

      • hmurchison - 8 years ago


        Analogy doesn’t work as Ford is a DIRECT competitor to Toyota. It’s understandable that players have a standards for their uniform and code of conduct regarding behavior but when sponsorship starts to blur the ethical lines of the business there’s a problem. I suspect the players union will address this during the next collective bargaining agreement.

      • thejuanald - 8 years ago

        Beats is a direct competitor to Bose. Coke is a direct competitor to Pepsi. Powerade is a direct competitor to Gatorade. Apple is a direct competitor to Microsoft.Guess what? The latter of each of those is a sponsor in the NFL and the players are held to the same standard as the Bose/every other headphone company debacle.

  6. TechPeeve (@TechPeeve) - 8 years ago

    two companies that delivery shit for sound, fucking lemmings all of you

    • thejuanald - 8 years ago

      Bose is alright for everyday use. I like my in ears. Beats is just god awful.

      For high end stuff I like Sennheiser.

    • flaviosuave - 8 years ago

      Meanwhile, you rise above it all, the one truly noble, intelligent, and independent person on earth! Congratulations to you! How’s the view from your horse all the way up there?

      • airmanchairman - 8 years ago

        In other words, LoL, get off your high horse, or is it your “Horse high”? :-)

    • Udo Heib (@4uHyper) - 8 years ago

      Bose is high end. With speakers, home cinema systems and televisions. In Germany you get Bose products only in their Shops. And in the Apple store!
      If think of it, no Beats is not a competitor of Bose.
      Bose is more high end and fits better to Apple than Beats.
      And if I remember correctly Bose is at court against Beats, because Beats use their patent for outside noise reduction…

      • Udo Heib (@4uHyper) - 8 years ago

        Ps.: You can find Bose sound systems in many high end cars, but never heard of any car using Beat products

      • pentastar11 - 8 years ago

        Actually beats are used in high end Chrysler products. Typically in their S series cars.

  7. Miguel Simoes - 8 years ago

    i beat both companies with my Marshall headphones and bluetooth speaker, they are 1000 times better than those from Bose and Beats, and both bought in Apple Shop :)

  8. Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 8 years ago

    Considering the quality of Bose devices is about equal to the quality of Beats, and that Beats is the “new” brand and Bose is (and has been for a long, long, time already), the “old” brand … how does anyone think this is going to go?

    I was truly surprised that Bose didn’t die out in the 1990s. Lets face it, if you have to have a whole store for why is basically a small handful of products with low volume sales, hire a half dozen attendants to walk around said store convincing people to buy and twisting arms (Bose), how good is your product really?

    • thejuanald - 8 years ago

      Beats are not even close to Bose in quality. Bose isn’t high end, but they are way, way better than shitty Beats.

      • Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 8 years ago

        Well, many people would disagree.

      • Mark (@hallmr1972) - 8 years ago

        Bos and Beats are both equally awful – they market themselves as high end, but neither are.

      • thejuanald - 8 years ago

        Beats are low quality, overpriced trash. Bose are mid quality and overpriced.

  9. golfersal - 8 years ago

    You know how much money of free publicity Bose gets by being seen in the Apple stores??? Gosh, you can’t pay enough for all their products being sold by Apple. Bad move by Bose in trying to make a big deal over this NFL stuff. They pissed off the wrong people in Apple. I figure it costs Bose millions of dollars being removed from Apple stores. Love the greed in all of this.

    • thejuanald - 8 years ago

      For the thousandth time, BOSE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BANNING OF SHITTY BEATS HEADPHONES FROM THE NFL. The NFL does this with all sponsors.

      How dumb can you all be? You attack anything that goes against Apple with little to no knowledge of what’s actually happening.

      • ajrobins - 8 years ago

        It doesn’t matter if Bose is “innocent”. The blowback from this is going to hurt them, no matter how innocent they are.

      • thejuanald - 8 years ago

        Blowback from Apple fanatics who will just buy whatever crap Apple tells you to, even if it is incredibly low quality and severely overpriced. Beats are just god awful.

  10. Jab King - 8 years ago

    Bose have been around for years and i own some of their products and its still quality and it still kicks out very powerful sound and Bose was the first with NCH”s and then beats followed suit and in my opinion beats do not sound as good and they are flooded with heavy bass that drowns out the lyrics and other instruments in the song and this is with bass reduction on. Don’t get me wrong they both are quality headphones and beats do have the upper hand in market share but when it comes to the patent dates thats who stands tall after the gun smoke settles. As for apple and the NFL that contract has been in place for some years now apple may have won many of it lawsuits but they are not prepared for this battle with the NFL

  11. Everyone going to a NFL game, bring your Beats headphones with you!
    They can ban the players but not the fans!

  12. hawaiithomsons - 8 years ago

    This is simple. Bose products are a slow mover and they willl need space for their watches. The only good thing about nose is that they share a similar demographic with Apple. In the past apple needed them for the halo effect but not any more.

  13. Wow! what a mess this became. Apple > NFL This should be well handled by Apple which I think they already are doing that..I know our speakers are not overprice trash, pretty solid in fact.

    Vince @

  14. timcrook - 8 years ago

    Herb! Where are you?!?!?!?

  15. Oflife - 8 years ago

    Bose are awesome (it’s like Marmite – a UK savory spread some people love, others hate), and this whole thing with Beats and Bose etc stinks of more garden walling. Bose are the real mccoy, backed by scientific research and an understanding of electronics/audio, whilst Beats are a brand. (Monster are good, I have their speakers and the sound quality is outstanding.) My cans are Bose QC15s, which are superb in all aspects.

    All this political stuff is distracting from the product.

    • hingedthinker - 8 years ago

      OH, really… I guess Sennheiser’s are junk since they are just a brand?

    • Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 8 years ago

      To me you lost all credibility when you mentioned Monster.

      People don’t want to believe that they can be “sold” on a brand. They don’t want to believe that their choices are more emotional than rational. They want to believe that when they listen to and choose a speaker or a headphone they are making a rational, purposeful choice based on quality of sound that they can actually hear. They aren’t, and they can’t, of course.

    • giskardian - 8 years ago

      Both Bose and Beats are shit.

      As for Monster, you really shouldn’t be admitting in public that you fell for their snake oil…

  16. Ryan Madrigal - 8 years ago

    there was never a band on beats when nfl was sponsored by motorola

  17. hingedthinker - 8 years ago

    In other news, the NFL announces a new sponsor partner agreement with Tata. The NFL sent letters to players letting them know to sell their Escalades, Ferrari’s, Porsche’s and BMW’s and purchase only one of the glorious options from Tata, the “Zest, Bolt, Nano, Vista, Indica, Manza….or your favorite SUV option the Sumo Gold.”

  18. hingedthinker - 8 years ago

    Reblogged this on Blogagility.

  19. Miguel Simoes - 8 years ago

    who hears music never uses a Beats or a Apple headphones, that headphones are brainless for pop shit market

  20. giskardian - 8 years ago

    Meh, they’re removing Bose for the wrong reason.

    They should be removing bose products because they SUCK. But then of course they would need to remove Beats products as well.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.