Apple purges rival products from store ahead of AirPods Studio rumors, the new HomePod

Apple in late September ceased online sales of headphones, earphones, speakers and other third-party devices as the company prepares to unveil a list of new audio products such as AirPods Studio and a more affordable HomePod.

Products from major manufacturers, including Bose, Logitech, and Sonos, disappeared from the web. Apple Store late last month, while brick-and-mortar store employees were recently asked to remove third-party headphones and speakers from store shelves, it reports.

A quick review reveals that there are no Logitech Bose or Ultimate Ears branded products for sale on the App website. Similarly, searches for “Sonos” turn up Apple alternatives like the HomePod and the Beats Pill + portable speaker.

Before the change, Apple was a major distributor for third-party audio device manufacturers looking for space on Apple Store Shelves. A spot in the tech giant’s curated catalog granted access to wealthy consumers looking for premium iPhone, iPad and Mac accessories.

As noted in the report, Apple sometimes discontinues the sale of devices that could compete with new or future products. For example, the company stopped selling Fitbit wearable devices after the launch of the Apple Watch in 2014.

Most recently, Masimo’s MightySat finger pulse oximeter was cut from the Apple Store List just before the launch of Apple Watch Series 6. The Watch’s neck feature for 2020, blood oxygen level tracking, is replicated by MightSat. Apple is also in a legal fight with the medical technology company over alleged patent infringement claims.

Apple is rumored to launch a batch of new audio equipment in the coming months. The so-called “AirPods Studio” over-the-ear headphones are expected to feature noise cancellation technology, orientation recognition via the U1 chip, and premium sound reproduction. Allegedly leaked images of a “sporty” version of the device appeared in September, showing a sleek exterior and a generous application of ergonomic mesh materials.