No doubt the first owners of the iPhone 12 can open the box carefully and record it on YouTube at any moment. It now looks like those views are going to be a bit shorter because Apple will remove a key hardware feature from the packaging.

Another article has backed up rumors that when they ship later this year, Apple won't provide a pair of EarPods with the iPhone 12 handsets. The specifics originate from Dan Ives of Wedbush, as stated by Benjamin Mayo:

"...he's saying the same thing: 'our tests that the iPhone 12 box/packaging probably won't have wired EarPods.' Eventually, it will help Apple push ever higher sales of its AirPods wireless earbuds.

"The Wedbush analyst believes Apple will sell 85 million AirPods units in 2020 , compared with an estimated 65 million in 2019."

That matches reports from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier in the year. Removing the EarPods from the packaging provides Apple with a number of financial benefits but that increased margin comes at the cost of reducing user experience.

While users won't make purchasing decisions about the retail box's contents, that unboxing experience creates the product's first impression. Steve Jobs' stories of meticulously opening and closing packaging to analyze this mood is the kind of attention to detail that helps a brand stand out and create small emotional rushes before switching on a handset.

I personally appreciate, to take one practical example, when a manufacturer puts a case in the box. It may just be a clear TPU cover, but it says something is worth the phone.

Throughout the years, Tim Cook 's Apple has reduced the packaging of the iPhone; eliminating the plastic carrying case for the EarPods, using a slower charger and dropping dongles rapidly are three notable examples

The removal of the EarPods would be a direct continuation of that strategy. The saving on removing the hardware would add up to millions of new handsets sold over the teens

Consumers would notice? They'll certainly miss the joyful moment Steve Jobs hoped for when you purchased an Apple product. But they're likely just going to spend more money with Apple and buy some AirPods.

Which I think is the point, but it's yet another step away from Apple being a marketing jewel to being just another manufacturer.