Rumor: Apple to remove Bose headphones & speakers from its stores amid patent suit, NFL spat

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2014
As a patent infringement suit filed by Bose against Beats looms, the longstanding retail partnership between Apple and Bose may be coming to an end, with a new report claiming that the premium audio products will be removed from Apple's retail locations.


Photo via Paul Stamatiou.


Citing a "reliable source," MacRumors reported on Friday that instructions are to be sent to employees soon on how to begin changing over inventory starting next week. The change will apparently see the removal of all Bose audio products from Apple Stores, affecting both store shelves as well as demo units coupled with iOS and Mac hardware.

Apple and Bose now compete in the premium-priced audio market, after the company bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion back in May. Like Bose, Beats also makes headphones and speaker systems.

Apple's online store currently lists a total of 17 Bose products, including a range of SoundLink Bluetooth speakers, and the company's popular QuietComfort series of noise-canceling headphones. It's that same noise-canceling technology that prompted Bose Corporation to file a patent lawsuit against Beats in July.

Specifically, Bose has accused the Beats "Studio" and "Studio Wireless," which are advertised to feature "Adaptive Noise Cancellation," of infringing on its patents. Bose asserts to the court that "Beats knows or is willfully blind to the fact that" its products are infringing on its patents.




Bose has been selling its QuietComfort branded headphones with this technology since 2000. For the latest "QuietComfort 20" headphones, Bose says they are protected by U.S. Patent Nos. 6,717,537; 8,073,150; 8,073,151; 8,054,992; and 8,345,888.

The rumored move by Apple also comes as its Beats brand has been barred by the National Football League. The NFL doesn't allow its players to promote unsponsored products, and Bose is the official audio partner of the league.

The issue came to a head this week, after it was revealed that the NFL fined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick $10,000 for wearing a pair of pink breast cancer awareness-themed Beats headphones at a press conference last Sunday. NFL rules restrict players from endorsing unapproved products when conducting interviews, including 90 minutes following the end of a game.

Beats headphones have already been given a prominent position in Apple's retail stores since the purchase was announced, spotlighting headphones and speakers from the popular brand.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 108
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,854member
    Who cares. Bose sucks. Totally overpriced garbage, especially in the "premium" home audio space.
  • Reply 2 of 108
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    Who cares. Bose sucks. Totally overpriced garbage, especially in the "premium" home audio space.

    Let the Bose hate begin.

    Garbage in, garbage out.
    As I predicted this $3B deal Apple will come to regret.
  • Reply 3 of 108
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    Who cares. Bose sucks. Totally overpriced garbage, especially in the "premium" home audio space.

    And Beats isn't? :lol:

    I own the Bose SoundLink mini Bluetooth speaker and it's the best $199 I've spent on a product.
  • Reply 4 of 108



    Too bad. I like Bose stuff and likely always will. Too bad Apple didn't buy them. The product quality is a lot better than Beats.

  • Reply 5 of 108
    jakebjakeb Posts: 555member
    Bose can go sell their stuff in Brookstone. Good luck!
  • Reply 6 of 108
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,951member
    Bose Sshmose ... I just duct tape a pair of Wharfedale Lintons to my head and run a wire from my Amstrad amp ... :D
    (Joke for old people)
  • Reply 7 of 108
    If Apple stops selling BOSE, they better start making those Beats products better. Even though I love my Beats Studios, the noise cancelling is nowhere near as effective and silent as BOSE's. And there's no other small and portable speaker to match the sound of the SoundLink mini IMHO.
  • Reply 8 of 108
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    supersheep wrote: »
    If Apple stops selling BOSE, they better start making those Beats products better. Even though I love my Beats Studios, the noise cancelling is nowhere near as effective and silent as BOSE's. And there's no other small and portable speaker to match the sound of the SoundLink mini IMHO.

    Because the only place you can buy BOSE products is an Apple store. :no:
  • Reply 9 of 108

    I understand people criticising Bose as an audiophile solution, their sound is highly coloured (though perhaps pleasing to some, which is fine). But for noise cancelling headphones they simply cannot be beaten. They clearly have superior tech, have patented it, and that deserves to be recognised. I'm all for Apple maximising the potential of Beats in the Apple Store, but they should be a little careful at how they treat other brands.

  • Reply 10 of 108
    So... Bets on Google or Microsoft to buy Bose?

    Everyone else already has an "headphone strategy".
  • Reply 11 of 108
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,489member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Let the Bose hate begin.

    Garbage in, garbage out.
    As I predicted this $3B deal Apple will come to regret.

    How again will Apple regret the deal?
  • Reply 12 of 108
    I doubt this move will be the final blow in the sinking ship known as Bose. But I have no doubt, due to the long time diminishing quality of this once respected brand, they are going down.
  • Reply 13 of 108

    I can buy Bose products in numerous locations other than Apple stores, including Bose' own shops. What's the problem?.

  • Reply 14 of 108
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post



    Who cares. Bose sucks. Totally overpriced garbage, especially in the "premium" home audio space.

     

    Beats is way worse than Bose. Actually, the Bose SoundLink Mini is really nice. One of the best you can get in that segment of wireless speakers. Way better than the horrible Beats Pill.

  • Reply 15 of 108
    You meant those $6.95 clones of Apple earphones that I bought aren't the state-of-the-art in music reproduction? I am shocked, shocked!
  • Reply 16 of 108
    ALL:

    This acquisition (Beats) was most unwise, $3 billion for a peripheral device maker and a small audience of streaming music does not justify the price. Apple would be better off acquiring firms that increase the utilization of Siri or better yet, place the $3 billion into developing a non-adversting app alternative to YouTube.
  • Reply 16 of 108
    ALL:

    This acquisition (Beats) was most unwise, $3 billion for a peripheral device maker and a small audience of streaming music does not justify the price. Apple would be better off acquiring firms that increase the utilization of Siri or better yet, place the $3 billion into developing a non-adversting app alternative to YouTube.
  • Reply 18 of 108
    (Shrugs)
    I didn't know AI cited MR!
  • Reply 19 of 108
    future man wrote: »
    ALL:

    This acquisition (Beats) was most unwise, $3 billion for a peripheral device maker and a small audience of streaming music does not justify the price. Apple would be better off acquiring firms that increase the utilization of Siri or better yet, place the $3 billion into developing a non-adversting app alternative to YouTube.

    "ALL:" is inferred.
  • Reply 20 of 108

    Meh... just mark the Bose products up an extra 1000% (like Bose does) and let it sit and collect dust/crud... literally 

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