Apple has removed all Bose headphones and speakers from its online stores and even some of its retail stores, according to 9to5Mac.
Apple’s removal of Bose products from its stores follows last week’s report, which suggested the decision could be linked to Apple’s recent acquisition of Beats Electronics, which Apple paid $US3 billion for earlier this year.
Beats and Bose have a history, however.
Last week, tensions appeared to be dying down as lawyers from both companies announced that Bose had agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against Beats for patent infringement.
In addition to simply being rival headphone and speaker brands, further conflict between the two companies has cropped up recently after the NFL fined San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick $US10,000 for wearing a pair of Beats headphones during a press conference.
The fine was due to the NFL recently banning its players from wearing non-Bose headphones, as the NFL has an exclusive sponsorship agreement with Bose.
After his fine, Kaepernick continued to wear his Beats on camera, but he covered the logo with masking tape. That led Beats cofounder and Apple employee Jimmy Iovine to voice his pleasure with the free publicity, saying, “I can’t believe I’m this lucky, I feel like sending them the tape.”
While Apple could be responding to the NFL controversy, it’s also possible that Apple just doesn’t want to sell its rival’s headphones in its stores, choosing instead to promote Beats, though Apple continues to sell other competing headphone brands.
And this isn’t the only competing product that Apple is pulling from its shelves. Re/code reported earlier this week that Apple might also stop selling Fitbit devices.