Earbuds, in one shape or another, have always been bundled with the iPhone, but if noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is correct in his most recent prediction, that’ll end with the iPhone 12 range. In his latest report, Kuo details how Apple may remove EarPods from the iPhone 12 box, which would naturally shift consumers towards the £159/$159 second-gen AirPods

While that may seem frustrating - and it will be to many consumers, especially considering the high price point of most iPhones that Apple sells - Kuo thinks that Apple will heavily discount the AirPods shortly after the launch of the iPhone 12 to tempt users ahead of a planned upgrade in 2021. It’s worth pointing out that Kuo is an analyst that focuses on supply chains and such has no firm details about the company’s marketing plans, so it’s worth taking that with a pinch of salt for now. 

Although the coronavirus pandemic has apparently impacted Apple’s sales of AirPods and AirPods Pro in the first half of the year, Kuo is confident that it’ll have a strong H2 2020 with a particularly busy Christmas season. So confident, in fact, that the analyst has boosted his AirPods sale prediction for this year from 80 to 93 million units.

It’s not the first time Apple has made a bold (or courageous as Apple likes to claim) decision when it comes to the iPhone. When Apple ditched the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 back in 2016, it mitigated complaints by including both a Lightning-enabled pair of EarPods and a Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor for those with standard headphones.

Apple stopped bundling the adaptor with the release of the iPhone XS, and if the EarPods are set to follow suit, it’ll force consumers to either buy MFI Lightning headphones (which we’d avoid if you want to use the headphones with literally anything else) or wireless Bluetooth headphones like Apple’s AirPods. 

It’s not the only change Apple has made to the bundled iPhone accessories in recent years, with the iPhone 11 Pro marking the first time that an iPhone has shipped with a USB-C-to-Lightning charging cable and an 18W fast-charging brick. 

Besides, if you really can’t live without the wired EarPods and don’t have an old pair laying around, you can always pick up a pair for £29/$29 from the Apple Store - much cheaper than Apple’s wireless AirPods.