It was reported last week that Apple would soon stop selling Bose headphones and speakers at its Apple Store locations. Previously, a variety of Bose headphones and speakers were demoed at each Apple Store location and available for purchase there and online. All Bose speakers and headphones have since been completely removed from sale through the Apple Online Store and several Apple Retail Store locations we’ve contacted have confirmed Bose inventory is no longer available.
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At the time of the report, it was suspected that the ongoing patent dispute between Bose and Beats Electronics was likely the reason for Apple removing Bose products from its retail stores; shortly after Apple announced it had acquired Beats Electronics, Bose filed a patent claim against Beats citing improper use of its noise-cancellation technology.
It was announced later that day, however, that the two companies had settled out of court and the case has since been dismissed. Despite that particular dispute being resolved out of court, conflict between the two companies has still existed.
Because the NFL is sponsored in part by Bose, competing headphone brands including the popular Beats cannot be allowed on camera during NFL-related events. This has led to several NFL players being disciplined for wearing Beats headphones during NFL events including 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick being fined $10,000 for sporting Beats headphones during a press conference.
Beats co-founder and Apple employee Jimmy Iovine has pointed out that the Beats-ban has given the brand its fair share of free coverage.
It’s possible, though, that Apple is simply removing a similarly priced competitor from its retail channels to focus on promoting Beats now that it owns the brand.
Apple does still sell other competing headphone brands including Bowers & Wilkins, Urbanears, RHA, Sennheiser, and more suggesting the Bose move was more targeted.
It has also been reported that Apple will soon remove products from the company Fitbit, which haven’t tet embraced Apple’s HealthKit platform, from its retail channels as it prepares to introduce the Apple Watch in early 2015, although that product and other fitness tracking devices are still available currently.
Top image via Re/code