Since Apple acquired Dr. Dre’s Beats headphone business back in May of 2014, the two brands have been content to stay separate entities — in branding and function — but that should all change with the arrival of iPhone 7.
To put it mildly, recent reports of Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 7 feature set have been gloomy, and anything to give iPhone 7 a boost in the flat high-end smartphone market should be a priority for Apple. Make no mistake, iPhone is the make or break product for Apple, and Beats is an accessory player. If cannibalizing sales of Beats is requires to sell millions of additional iPhones, it should be done – without question.
Apple should pull out all the stops, shipping every version of iPhone 7 with wireless beats inner ear earpods. Each iPhone color shipping with a matching color of wireless beats earpods. While this would certainly put a dent into Beats aftermarket sales, the costs of manufacturing wired Apple branded earpods vs wireless Beats versions is likely less than $5 at volume quantity.
Shipping iPhone 7 with no headphone jack and wireless Beats earpods, slightly thinner chassis, A10 processor, with dual-camera technology and updated OS, gives the new iPhone the best chance of success, which could very well best iPhone 6S and 6S Plus sales volumes (topping 6 sales is virtually impossible at this time). In addition Apple’s brand can be augmented by looking innovative and cutting edge, making all other smart phone manufacturers follow in Apple’s footsteps again. This helps propel Apple to the top slot — as the leader — in consumers’ minds.
What is more important to Apple? Selling a few million more after market Beats headphones, or selling 15 million more iPhone 7’s? Anything Apple can do to drive increased value and thus sales into iPhone 7 should be done. Period.
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