WWDC 2018 Leak: A Surprise Apple Release Just Showed Up on Best Buy
Apple is planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the “Beats by Dre” brand, if a series of new ads are to be believed. The “Decade Collection,” spotted at Best Buy and other stores, features headphones and other hardware in a series of black and red color designs. Apple has yet to announce the collection at all, and the product set’s shipping date of June 4 suggests the company may announce the hardware at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote scheduled for the same day.
Marketing copy, first spotted by AppleInsider on Thursday, suggests the collection will celebrate the brand 10 years after its first product hit the market. In the description shared on the Best Buy page, the company describes how “Beats was launched so people could hear music the way the artist intended. A decade later they’re still changing the game. Styled in Deﬁant Black-Red in tribute to their bold beginnings and music’s dynamic emotion, the Beats Decade Collection celebrates their ﬁrst 10 years of innovation.”
The collection covers five products: the Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones at $349.99, BeatsX Wireless earphones at $149.99, Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones at $299.99 pictured above, Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones at $199.99, and urBeats3 Earphones with either Lightning connector or 3.5mm jack for $99.99. Recent editions of Beats headphones use the Apple W1 chip that debuted in AirPods, enabling faster connection time when used with an iPhone or other Apple device.
Beats has maintained a rather separate identity since Apple acquired the company in 2014 for $3 billion. While the company has added a limited number of technologies into its headphone line, one of the most visible mergers came from the Beats music streaming service that underpinned the Apple Music service that launched in 2015. Apple Music has proven so popular that February data showed it on course to beat Spotify for paid subscribers in the United States by the summer.
Apple is expected to announce a range of software updates at WWDC 2018, but there could be some Beats-themed surprises. Beyond the new collection, rumors are swirling about a cheaper HomePod with Beats branding.
It could help the $349 Siri-powered speaker reach an all-new market, through an established brand that has proven consumers care about headphones.