Direct competition with Beats (and possibly an NFL exclusivity deal) has led to all Bose products being removed from Apple's stores
Apple has removed all Bose headphones and speakers from its retail and online stores, escalating a growing spat between the two companies.
Until last week, Bose headphones and speakers were prominently displayed in physical Apple stores, and were available to buy online through Apple’s web store. However, all models have now been exorcised from the online shop and retail locations are no longer displaying Bose merchandise on shelves. Seaching for Bose through the online store now displays a selection of second-hand Apple products and non-related gadgets from other companies. The change, first spotted by 9to5Mac, is the result of a growing rivaly between Apple and Bose, following the former’s purchase of Dr Dre’s Beats headphone brand earlier in the year.
In securing a high-profile NFL sponsorship deal at the start of the 2014 season, Bose effectively forced the league to ban other manufacturers’ headphones, Beats included, from on-camera appearances and game day interviews. One player who flouted the ban, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was fined $10,000 for wearing a pair of Beats headphones, and it was rumoured the company paid the fine for him. Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine pointed out the ban had given Beats more than enough free coverage, but it has still limited the brand’s exposure at football games in the US.
Apple hasn’t removed any products from other high-profile headphone manfacturers from its stores, with Sennheiser, Bowers and Wilkins, Atomic Floyd and Klipsch all still available online and in physical shops, either suggesting it sees Bose as its most direct competitor, or one of the richest and most popular technology companies in the world isn’t above holding a grudge. This isn’t the first time the two companies have clashed: Bose filed a lawsuit against Beats over its noise cancellation technology, but the two companies settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
The company is believed to be throwing its weight around in other product categories too. Allegedly, it is preparing to remove all Fitbit products from its stores, after it was revealed the wearable and fitness gadget manufacturer had no plans to integrate with the Healthkit app for iOS 8.