One more report. A new rumor that predicts the disappearance of the iPhone 12 EarPods and power adapter (not cable). This time, Taiwanese market intelligence firm TrendForce (via MacRumors) is bringing the news. This year’s iPhones will arrive with the minimum to compensate for the arrival of 5G to this iPhone generation.
Significantly higher costs for 5G
Apple will start mass producing the four new models in the (provisional name) iPhone 12 series, which are equipped with 5G capabilities, thus increasing its quarterly smartphone production. The BOM [coste de los materiales] of the iPhone 12 models are significantly higher compared to the previous series due to the 5G.
Exactly one week ago Ming-Chi Kuo said something similar about the 5G on the iPhone 12. between $75 and $125 per unit. This technology that is beginning to be deployed more widely is not cheap. If we look at models like the OnePlus 8 or the Samsung Galaxy S20 cost 909 euros each, with 5G connectivity (there are numerous models that are cheaper but not 5G mmWave).
To cut costs and stabilize the retail price, Apple has decided to sell the next iPhone without accessories such as the wired headset, power adapter, etc. This move is expected to help with sales performance.
The EarPods with Lightning connector in the box are priced at 29 euros; the 18W power adapter costs 35 euros; and the USB-C cable to Lightning 1 meter costs 25 euros. In total add up to 89 euros (64 euros without counting the cable), although we are talking about sales price and not manufacturing cost, so we are talking about a minor saving.
Various analysts and reports point to the simplification of the iPhone 12 case, which would only include the terminal and a Lightning cable
Previous rumors mention only the wall adapter and headset as candidates to disappear from the iPhone box. The Lightning cable would remain inside because it’s a more “consumable” component than the other two. That is, the cable with use can deteriorate and the renewal of an iPhone is a good time to offer the replacement.
What reasons could lead Apple to dispense with the headset and adapter
We must make it clear that we are dealing with unofficial reports and rumours. Until we see the iPhone 12 unveiled and what’s in the boxwe won’t know if they’re true. In any case, there is a powerful reason to remove them from the packaging: simplicity. All the arguments derive or come from this point:
- New iPhones are increasingly sold to users who renewed from a previous iPhone. This means that you should already have a headset and a power adapter available and working, since their wear and tear is not noticeable.
- The wireless chargingThe iPhone, which has been available since the 2017 iPhone, is an alternative to the cable. Although its adoption is small compared to the traditional way.
- An equally small number, but one that has been growing rapidly, is the number of users who are opting for wireless headphones and, in particular, AirPods of different models. A trend that will increase and make EarPods unnecessary.
- A box with fewer accessories will be smaller and more compact, which will reduce storage and logistical transport costs significantly. Less weight and less volume allows you to fit more boxes in the same space.
- Fewer non-consumable components will reduce technological waste. A point that Apple would no doubt mention in a keynote.
The arrival of the 5G and the increase in its components make it the ideal time to match the removal of the headphones and adapter, partly offsetting their cost
The passing of the years and the renewal of an iPhone for another model on the block have ended making the power adapter and headphones redundant. To do without them is the logical way. A conclusion that has also been reached by manufacturers such as Samsung, who have removed headphones from their Galaxy Note 20 in some countries. And it was rumored a few weeks ago that the wall charger was missing.
Everything points to the fact that Apple will make the decision to dispense with both the headphones and the power adapter, keeping the Lightning cable. If this rumor is true, Apple would not be the first manufacturer to do so, but the one who does it more abruptly by moving it to all their late-20th century models. A situation reminiscent of when the audio jack disappeared from the iPhone 7 in 2016 and finally went unnoticed by the average consumer after the initial media hype.