Apple is planning to remove Bose’s products from its retail stores next week, according to a report from MacRumors. The move would give the company more space to show off luxury audio products made by Beats Electronics, which Apple purchased earlier this year.
The rumor popped up after Bose became the headphone sponsor of the NFL, and set up an exclusivity agreement banning players from wearing Beats at game time. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who appears in an advertisement for the Beats Studio headphones, was recently fined $10,000 for wearing a pair of the headphones during a post-game press conference.
There’s no confirmation of this happening yet, but knowing Apple, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. After all, this is the company that reportedly froze PayPal out of its Apple Pay system after the company partnered with Samsung to offer mobile payments using the Galaxy S5’s fingerprint sensor. Apple has a vindictive streak a mile wide, and it won’t surprise me if the company ends up punishing Bose for a perceived infraction like this.
What will be interesting to see is if the change in inventory will end up affecting Beats’s sales any. The company’s headphones are hugely popular – and profitable – but audio enthusiasts have always criticized them for their sound.