Apple discontinues iPhone Bluetooth Headset

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple this weekend appears to have discontinued its iPhone Bluetooth Headset, a possible sign that the company could be planning to introduce an updated model alongside new iPhones a bit later this year or cede the market segment to third parties.



A couple of eagle-eyed readers drew our attention to the accessory's Apple Store product page that has listed the device as "Discontinued" since Saturday. Oddly, however, shoppers could still add the product to their shopping carts as of press time.



The single-button headset was first introduced in June 2007 alongside the original iPhone. It sold for $129 and was bundled with a Bluetooth Travel Cable and a Dual Dock that could charge both the iPhone and headset.



A year later, Apple dropped the price of the headset to $99 to coincide with the release of the iPhone 3G, but also stopped including Dual Dock, which was perminently discontinued to the dismay of some costomers.



The headset has drawn accolades for its easy setup and elegantly slim, lightweight design, but has also been criticized for its limited range, battery life and lack of voice dial controls.







Update: AppleInsider has received a couple of unconfirmed tips that suggest Apple may have recently recalled existing inventory of the iPhone Bluetooth Headset for undisclosed reasons.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    introduces new bluetooth-related features.



    Still, I'd wager 3.0 was called "major upgrade" in Mar, because there would be nothing bigger in Jun.

    WWDC would then possibly be delayed (till Aug?) and would announce "2,1" h/w.
  • Reply 2 of 75
    nace33nace33 Posts: 94member
    My first reaction is that they are paving the way for a new stereo bluetooth headset in light of the 3.0 announcement. But that doesn't necessarily make sense to only have one or the other. Maybe an updated model is on the way.
  • Reply 3 of 75
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Maybe Apple realized people look like fools with devices in their ear walking around talking to themselves, trying to look important.
  • Reply 4 of 75
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nace33 View Post


    My first reaction is that they are paving the way for a new stereo bluetooth headset in light of the 3.0 announcement. But that doesn't necessarily make sense to only have one or the other. Maybe an updated model is on the way.



    My first thought was that it just wasn't selling well enough. I prefer my Jawbone earpiece for quality and longevity. I just wish they had an in-ear phone, instead of the ear bud they use, though it's not nearly as uncomfortable as Apple's design.



    After reading yours and ivan.rnn01's posts I wonder if they will release a new model with buttons so you can do voice dialing from the headset. This would certainly make me consider buying Apple's BT headset —assuming my current one was lost, stolen or broken— if they were the only one to offer this feature.
  • Reply 5 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    Still, I'd wager 3.0 was called "major upgrade" in Mar, because there would be nothing bigger in Jun.

    WWDC would then possibly be delayed (till Aug?) and would announce "2,1" h/w.



    There will most likely be a new iPhone release in June (not Aug), simply because that's when the first iPhone buyer's two-year contracts are up. These people (who chose not to upgrade to 3G last year), are going to need a newer iPhone than the 3G.
  • Reply 6 of 75
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    I suspect Apple no longer sees any point in selling a Bluetooth earpiece/mic. They don't run OS X or any variant, it's hard to truly differentiate it from all of the others, and they aren't in that business anyway.



    Apple gave up selling their own printers long ago and I see Bluetooth devices as a similar situation.
  • Reply 7 of 75
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post


    Maybe Apple realized people look like fools with devices in their ear walking around talking to themselves, trying to look important.



    I agree. I have spent a decent amount of time in Japan the last two years and NOT ONCE did I see a bluetooth headset for a keitai (cell phone). Texting / email is much more common on phones in Japan, but no matter the reason it is wonderful to see people without those incredibly annoying things stuck in their ears all day long. IMO these things are the height of hubris, unless they are used when driving.
  • Reply 8 of 75
    Add this to the mix that the headset ROYALLY Sucked!!!! I went through eight replacements and non of them them could keep a connection longer than 5 feet away. I even had one break connection while the phone was in my hand. In every other category the headset was a freakin marvel but it would not stay connected. I have no sympathy that it failed miserably. They should have taken it off the shelves a lot sooner. Currently use the Jawbone 2.0 and it works great. Almost annoyingly so when I am in the bottom of my yard and my headset is upstairs in my office and my audio goes to my headset. Beat that Apple!
  • Reply 9 of 75
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NPrtmn4evr View Post


    There will most likely be a new iPhone release in June (not Aug), simply because that's when the first iPhone buyer's two-year contracts are up. These people (who chose not to upgrade to 3G last year), are going to need a newer iPhone than the 3G.



    The original iPhone was sold without any contract requirement - of course if you were not already an AT&T customer then you likely got some sort of contract when you switched.



    I recently replaced a failed Motorola bluetooth headset with a Plantronics 520 (or some such) for about $50. The Apple device did not appeal to me due to the design - I rarely if ever use the ear buds that came with either my iPod or my iPhone since they do not stay in my ears - keep falling out. I have BOSE noise canceling headphone for use with the iPod on airplanes - FM transmitter for iPod in one car - Aux port on radio in the other car for iPod with built in Bluetooth for iPhone in that car. Actually went without any bluetooth for a few months until I found the deal on the plantronics - it gets annoying when going from home office to car to other location and back again on a con call without some sort of headset/bluetooth.



    As for "hubris" mentioned in one of the posts - I do not consider using a bluetooth earpiece to be a "look at me and how important I am" kind of thing - but something more along the lines of either "look at me I am tied to my work even when not at my desk - wish I had some free time to just enjoy life" or mostly just for safety reasons - much harder to perform necessary tasks such as operating a motor vehicle with on arm stuck to the side of your head if you do not have a headset. So it is a double edge sword type of deal - it is nice that I have the flexibility to not be tied to my desk all day - but then I have to be available when the customers call.
  • Reply 10 of 75
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NPrtmn4evr View Post


    There will most likely be a new iPhone release in June (not Aug), simply because that's when the first iPhone buyer's two-year contracts are up. These people (who chose not to upgrade to 3G last year), are going to need a newer iPhone than the 3G.



    Time will tell. I have strong impression, they'd be given no more than 3G + OS 3.0 in Jun.
  • Reply 11 of 75
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,746member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post


    Maybe Apple realized people look like fools with devices in their ear walking around talking to themselves, trying to look important.







    Or wearing them in the car in order to drive more responsibly so as not to cause an accident, or even to keep such a device away from one's head (we still don't know the full risks.
  • Reply 12 of 75
    kbeatkbeat Posts: 47member
    Damn, I really like this headset. It's super convenient not having to carry another extra charger, and it's so small and light I hardly notice it in my pocket when I'm not driving. The things are also really durable. My wife has put hers through the wash and dry twice, and it still works!



    I hope their coming out with a new model. The jawbone 2.0 is all but unusable with that audio buzz introduced in version 2, and there aren't any other models I really care for. It's nice that hills & lame are free to talk on their phones without ever needing to be handsfree, but for most of us a bluetooth headset is the easiest route to a handsfree operation (an absolute must sitting in L.A. traffic).
  • Reply 13 of 75
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,746member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lamewing View Post


    I agree. I have spent a decent amount of time in Japan the last two years and NOT ONCE did I see a bluetooth headset for a keitai (cell phone). Texting / email is much more common on phones in Japan, but no matter the reason it is wonderful to see people without those incredibly annoying things stuck in their ears all day long. IMO these things are the height of hubris, unless they are used when driving.



    Your cell phone is actually not a phone. It's a two-way radio that emits low-powered radiation.



    You're putting that device right against your head. Not a good idea for the long term. And the jury's still out on the exact long-term effects. We're just coming up on the 15-year or so mark where we'll be able to measure incidents of cancer and neurological conditions in relation to using a device placed right to your head that emits radiation. And we're not really talking infinitesimal doses here.



    This debate is now a few years old. And if you don't believe it has relevance, feel free to visit the Faculty of Medicine of any major University. Studies at my alma mater, the University of Toronto (among others) have already concluded that the safest thing to do is to either use the speakerphone, a wired headset, or Bluetooth (which emits radiation that doesn't even register on measuring equipment.)



    I wear a BT earpiece every time I have a cell phone conversation. But I take it off the rest of the time. My issue is with people who wear them all the time, throughout the day. If you get a call, all you have to do is just place it in your ear and take it out after. Nothing difficult about that. But those who are against these devices need to take along hard look at the safety benefits - in terms of driving and in terms of a person's long-term health.



    I may look stupid while wearing one, but my exposure to cell phone radiation (as in, when placed right up to your head) is ZERO. Works for me . . .



    Worth a look:



    http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/07/31...cer/index.html
  • Reply 14 of 75
    halhikerhalhiker Posts: 110member
    I think Apple has replaced far more of these than it has sold. I am personally on my third one and I just hope if it gives out it's before my AppleCare expires.



    My first one had WAY too much static. My second lost 75% of its volume for no reason. This one is OK so far but I've only had it about a month.



    The fit was also an issue but I ordered an earhook from Motorola and it holds it in place when I'm driving, which is the only time I wear it. I've also had issues with the range. If I wear it in my left ear and put the phone in my right pocket, it loses the connection. I need to keep both phone and earpiece on the same side.



    I'm actually surprised they didn't drop this earlier because it's not up to the standards one expects from Apple.
  • Reply 15 of 75
    gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    I may look stupid while wearing one, but my exposure to cell phone radiation (as in, when placed right up to your head) is ZERO. Works for me . . .



    So... you'll get bone marrow cancer in your hip instead of brain cancer, then?
  • Reply 16 of 75
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,746member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post


    So... you'll get bone marrow cancer in your hip instead of brain cancer, then?



    No one really knows. Which is the whole point. The real issue is putting it right up to your head, meaning, your brain.



    I even keep it out of my pant pocket and use my jacket pocket instead. Or I put it in my bag, or carry it and switch hands now and then. The beauty of safe practices is that they aren't difficult at all to implement and get accustomed to.



    My BT headset is the most comfortable kind out there. I barely feel that I'm wearing it, and it's stylish, low-profile, and very light. it's the BlueAnt Z9i. I recommend it wholeheartedly. It's on the expensive side, but considering I don't put my iPhone to my ear anymore, it's become indispensable (especially when I don't use the speakerphone in a not-so-private setting.)



    Say for argument's sake, let's say that there really is no proof of anything either way. Which doesn't change the fact that you're still putting a device that emits measurable radiation right up to your head, often in full contact. We're not talking a microwave or TV here that sits away from you. You're probably young and have only been using a cell for a few years at most. Wait until you're in your late 30's, early 40's . . . we don't know what the long-term risks are yet. It takes years for these things to crop up.



    So why take the risk at all when there are other, workable and convenient solutions out there?
  • Reply 17 of 75
    slapppyslapppy Posts: 331member
    Its not a bad headset. It worked better and clearer than my Treo headset. Having a single cable to charge both iPhone and headset was a big plus for me.
  • Reply 18 of 75
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,746member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by halhiker View Post


    I think Apple has replaced far more of these than it has sold. I am personally on my third one and I just hope if it gives out it's before my AppleCare expires.



    My first one had WAY too much static. My second lost 75% of its volume for no reason. This one is OK so far but I've only had it about a month.



    The fit was also an issue but I ordered an earhook from Motorola and it holds it in place when I'm driving, which is the only time I wear it. I've also had issues with the range. If I wear it in my left ear and put the phone in my right pocket, it loses the connection. I need to keep both phone and earpiece on the same side.



    I'm actually surprised they didn't drop this earlier because it's not up to the standards one expects from Apple.



    All the reviews I've read about it have dismissed it as crap. Even the 2nd gen model. The range is pitiful. We're talking like 2-3 feet here, in your pocket, etc.



    One of Apple's very, very few products that didn't turn out, it seems.
  • Reply 19 of 75
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Good. It was the worst bluetooth headset I've ever owned.
  • Reply 20 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post


    So... you'll get bone marrow cancer in your hip instead of brain cancer, then?



    Let me know when they get brain replacement surgery working. I know quite a few people who stand to benefit from that.
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