In what seems like an obvious sign that Apple has a few new audio products lined up to launch this fall, the company just cleared its digital and physical stores of nearly every speaker and headphone brand that could conceivably be considered a rival if Apple had some competing devices slated to go on sale soon.
The company has taken down product pages for headphones and speakers made by Bose, Sonos, and Ultimate Ears, and will reportedly be removing those products from its physical stores, too. The move, first spotted by Bloomberg, means that Apple is selling only headphones, earbuds, and speakers made by itself or its subsidiary, Beats, online or in stores.
Apple told Bloomberg that the company regularly reevaluates the third-party products it sells, which are chosen to help customers get more out of their Apple devices.
But the timing is notable because Apple is rumoured to have more product launches planned this fall. A a smaller HomePod speaker and a pair of Apple-branded headphones are reportedly on deck.
And, as Bloomberg noted, Apple has in the past removed products from its store that directly compete with its own, as it did with Fitbit after launching the Apple Watch. But the company has also eliminated products untethered to a launch, so the move may be entirely unrelated to Apple devices on the horizon.
Apple is reportedly planning an iPhone event this month and another product showcase in November, so we have two possible opportunities to see an AirPods Studio or whatever the next HomePod could be (in case you really want an expensive Siri speaker for whatever reason).