Apple aims to enter the high-end headphones market

Diefenbach Apple AirPods are displayed during a media event in San Francisco California

Diefenbach Apple AirPods are displayed during a media event in San Francisco California

Bloomberg sources corroborate an earlier KGI report that Apple is working on high-end, over-ear headphones meant to compete with Bose. In addition to that, the report says the new Apple headphones were scheduled to launch sometime at the end of this year. However, people familiar with the plans indicate that the company has faced development challenges that might push back the release. As a result, Apple is going to have to be smart about the pricing strategy, which it will, given its success with the AirPods. As Bloomberg notes, Apple's HomePod costs about $100 more than a similar speaker from Sonos, so it's entirely possible it would mark up its headphones similarly.

It's clear that Apple wants to pin a premium price tag on the headphones but finding that sweet spot among offerings from market leaders such as Bose and Sennheiser will be crucial.

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Apple has been working on the design "on-and-off" for over a year. There are also concerns that this new product could end up cannibalizing sales from the Beats brand that's also owned by Apple. A pair of well-designed, high-end headphones, with noise-canceling technology and Siri built-in, could be enough to convince Apple loyalists to drop yet more cash on the company. However, unlike what some might expect, they won't be from Beats by Dre, a subsidiary of Apple. In the first seven months of 2017, the wireless headphone market sales increased by 22 percent compared to a year ago and Apple AirPods accounted for 85 percent of all wireless headphone dollar sales in the United States, according to research firm NPD Group.

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