Apple’s newest iPhone is set for September or October this year, but buyers might not get the headphones and charger they’re used to by now.
According to a recent report from famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 12 will not be shipped with wired headphones or a power adapter, and users will have to purchase them separately. Meanwhile, the only accessory included in the price will be a lighting to USB-C cable.
The reason for this change, Ming-Chi Kuo believes, is that Apple is trying to lower the price of the iPhone 12 and keep it as close as possible to the iPhone 11. Since smartphone production is expected to become more expensive due to 5G, Apple can’t keep the pricing competitive if they ship the new iPhone with headphones and charger. Analysts at Barclays shared a similar prediction, along with an estimate that mass production for Apple 12 models is up to six weeks behind schedule and that some models will only be available in October or November.
Analysts also say that Apple will discontinue the 5W and 18w power adapters that usually came in the box and instead release a 20W power adapter, sold separately. Pictures of the new 20W USB-C PD Power Adapter were already leaked on Twitter by a user called Mr white. At present, it’s unclear whether the new 20W adapter will be a Pro exclusive or if the entire iPhone lineup will have fast charging power adapters.
This move could also help Apple sell more AirPods. According to a recent report, Apple sold almost 60 million AirPods in 2019 and accounted for a whopping 71% of total wireless headphone revenue, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them go down that road.
But, if the rumors are true, not everyone will be happy. On the one hand, iPhone users who already have AirPods and a charger won’t need to pay to get some. On the other hand, those who don’t (because they’re upgrading from an older iPhone model, for instance, or because they broke their old wired headphones) will have to pay at least $159 for AirPods 1, and up to $249.00 for AirPods Pro. Meanwhile, an 18W USB-C power adapter costs $29, and the 30W one costs $49. Drawing the line, that’s still a lot of money, so even if psychologically you get the impression of saving because the price for a new iPhone is lower, you’ll still end up paying more. Overall, even if money isn’t a problem for you, the process is still a bit complicated because usually when you order a new phone, you expect to fully enjoy it right away, not pay extra for essential accessories.
Apple might also argue that they’re selling accessories separately to reduce waste and ship phones in smaller boxes. While this would make sense for iPhone users who already have AirPods and chargers and don’t need additional accessories, those who would buy these accessories separately will generate more waste.