Apple's High-End Over-Ear Headphones Have Faced Development Challenges


Although the plans could change, Apple is reportedly targeting a release that could be "as early as the end of this year".

A new report from Bloomberg corroborates rumors that Apple is working on high-end over-ear headphones with its own branding. As a result, Apple is going to have to be smart about the pricing strategy, which it will, given its success with the AirPods.

Apple has sold over-ear headphones since it acquired Beats in 2014 but has yet to release an Apple-branded pair.

However, Apple had development troubles and the headphones have gone through multiple redesigns already, says Bloomberg.

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Apple's AirPods were just the start, it seems, the firm is moving towards something else. That would ostensibly put them in direct competition with the company's Beats by Dre subsidiary, which now sells its own pair of noise-cancelling headphones for $350. The category, which includes AirPods, Beats headphones, the Apple Watch, Apple TV and iPad accessories, generated more than $5 billion in revenue for the first time in the company's fiscal first quarter, representing 36 percent year-over-year growth.

Researcher NPD Group said previous year that sales of AirPods and Beats headphones gave Apple 27 percent of the wireless headphone market and nearly half the dollars spent on the category. There's been no indication yet on when, if ever, Apple would release these headphones. The headphones may be released later than the target date and could even be scrapped altogether, according to the report.

It's believed that the new headphones will be priced towards the upper end of the market.

They'll be wireless headphones, much like the AirPods, and they'll integrate with Apple Music and Siri.