The iPhone 12 might not include EarPods in the box and that’s OK

Go complain to a Pixel, LG, or OnePlus fan.

Credit: IDG/Adam Patrick Murray

We’ve been sharing a bunch of rumors lately about what the iPhone 12 will include, but now we have one about what it might lack. According to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is considering the removal of Lightning EarPods from all models of the iPhone 12 in an effort to spur AirPods adoption.

Before we debate the merits of this rumor, a little history: Apple made the “courageous” decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 back in 2016 and took a bit of heat for it even though it included a 3.5mm-to-Lightning dongle in the box and a pair of Lightning EarPods. The free dongle went away in 2018 with the launch of the iPhone XS in 2018 and now it looks like the EarPods will follow suit.

Presumably, Apple will continue to offer the wired EarPods for $29 and the 3.5mm dongle for $9, but the move wouldn’t be about making a few extra bucks on wired devices—it’s about AirPods. To that point, 9to5Mac reports that Apple “may heavily promote or discount the AirPods this holiday season” to soften the blow.

Apple detractors will surely point to this as a sign of Apple’s nickel-and-diming, but Apple would actually be trailing the pack with this decision. Google stopped bundling USB-C headphones with the Pixel 4; OnePlus has never offered earbuds with its phones; and LG doesn’t bundle them either, despite its phones having a 3.5mm jack. In fact, Samsung is one of the only major Android phone makers to still include a pair of USB-C earbuds in the box, and let’s be honest, that’s mainly because Apple does.
So hold on to those old EarBuds when you upgrade to the iPhone 12 in the fall, because we wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if this rumor is true. And just like every other decision Apple makes, it’ll be OK.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags rumors

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Michael Simon

Michael Simon
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?