Bose About To Feel The White Heat Of Competition With Apple

Bose and Beats have apparently settled their lawsuit relating to the noise cancellation technology that the newly acquired Apple subsidiary was alleged to have copied from it's competitor. No details are forthcoming about the settlement, but it's probable that there was some licensing agreement reached which satisfied both businesses.

Bose aren't going to be crowing over their success for long though, as it's rumoured that Apple is beginning to put into action a plan to remove Bose headphones and speakers from Apple Stores worldwide. That's really only a natural extension of the take-over of Beats. The two are in direct competition and as a result it's bye-bye Bose.

It won't just be the loss of shelf space that isn't going to hurt Bose going forward either. Apple customers have proven themselves a loyal bunch and, even though Beats haven't been re-branded as Apple, every potential customer knows that they are Apple owned and, as a result, Beats headphones and speakers are going to see a massive rise in sales. In days gone by an iPhone user was identified by the white headphones they wore, a HTC customer by the red Beats headset. In the future iPhone users will be wearing the red and there will be lots of them.

It's going to be an interesting challenge for Bose. We know the quality of their audio products far surpasses that of Beats equipment. However, I'd imagine that there is a massive correlation between the sort of audiophiles who would care about the difference and the sort of audiophiles that have Apple hardware. Bose's main market might just be about to disappear from beneath them.

The only real hope here is to position themselves as the anti-Apple, and hope to pick up sales from those users who would never consider an Apple product. The Samsung of the audio world if you like. The problem is that the audio world already has a Samsung: Samsung. The new Level headsets from the Korean company have been getting some very positive reviews. Both style and audio quality are superior to Beats and at a better price too. Samsung has its Bluetooth docks and its very clever (and quite capable) Multiroom solution too. And of course if a customer doesn't buy Apple, you can be pretty sure that they own a Samsung Galaxy handset of some sort, which makes them a much easier target for the Level headsets.

Between Apple and Samsung there doesn't seem to be a great deal of room in the middle. Bose - and other audio equipment OEMs - are going to have to recalibrate their efforts into the much more expensive and more specialised market above the Beats product line. That's a pretty niche market and it will be interesting if they manage to pull it off.


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