Apple just made its rivals disappear — in its own retail store, anyhow. As Bloomberg reports, the company has abruptly stopped selling Bose, Logitech, and Sonos audio products, including the popular Bose noise-canceling headphones that would almost certainly be a direct competitor to the headphones that Apple has repeatedly been rumored to be ready to announce sometime this year.
When you go to find a product like the Logtech Ultimate Ears Megaboom speaker or those Bose headphones, you’ll find messages like these instead:
But Google’s cache shows these products were on sale as late as mid-September, if not more recently. Here’s a couple examples from September 15th:
As a result of the removals, the Apple Store’s “headphones and speakers” product page now consists entirely of Apple’s own devices, with no rival manufacturers to be found. And Bloomberg reports that Apple employees have been told to remove these products from physical retail shelves as well.
Bose and Logitech both confirmed to Bloomberg that Apple will no longer sell their audio products.
It’s not the first time that Bose products have disappeared from the Apple Store, and the last time was fairly brief, but it’s a bigger blow to Bose now — the company no longer has its own rival stores in shopping malls around the world, so it was relying at least in part on Apple’s stores filling that role. (Bose reminds us that it still has “thousands” of others brick and mortar resellers, though.) Logitech still sells all kinds of other accessories in the Apple Store, including keyboards and cameras, but Bose and Sonos don’t have other categories to offer.
Until now, Apple seemed mostly happy to carry some competing accessories in its stores, and let the best product win. I wonder what changed?
Apple is widely expected to hold a hardware event later this month, and rumors suggest it might happen on October 13th.
Update October 6th, 11:14AM ET: Added Bose comment.