There are many rumors and misconceptions on the internet about whether or not Bose is owned by Apple. Some people believe that Bose was purchased by Apple, while others believe that Apple has some sort of controlling stake in the Bose company. So, who really owns Bose? Has Apple ever offered to purchase Bose? Let’s take a look at the history of both companies and find out!
Is Bose Owned By Apple? – Short Answer
No, Bose is not owned by Apple. Apple has never tried to purchase Bose. The two companies are direct competitors in the consumer audio market, and have had legal battles in the past.
Interested in a more detailed answer? Keep on reading as we share a brief history of Bose and Apple, and why the rumors and misconceptions about who owns Bose might have originated.
History Of Bose Corporation
Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Dr. Amar Bose. Bose is an American company that specializes in the development and production of audio equipment. Bose is best known for their home audio products, car audio systems, and noise-cancelling headphones.
Bose Loudspeakers and Stereo Systems
The company was founded with the goal of developing speakers that could more accurately reproduce the sound of a live concert. Bose’s first product was the Bose 2201 speaker system, which was released in 1966. The 2201 was a market failure, and Amar Bose went back to the drawing board to reinvent the companies product strategy. The Bose 901 stereo speaker system was released in 1968. Unlike the 2201, the 901 was a market success, and remained a mainstay in the Bose lineup until about 2016.
In 1984, Bose released the first version of its iconic Wave line, the Acoustic Wave Music System (AWMS-1). The Wave systems use a folded waveguide to direct sound waves from the speakers to the listener. Bose released several iterations of the Wave over the years, with the most recent being the Wave SoundTouch music system, released in 2015.
Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Bose has also been a pioneer in noise-cancelling headphone technology, initially developing headphones for commercial aviation. The company’s consumer noise-cancelling headphones were first released in 2000. Bose has released several different models of noise-cancelling headphones over the years, with the most recent being the QuietComfort 45, released in 2021.
History of Apple
Apple is an American technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California. Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Apple designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services.
Apple Speakers and Headphones
Audio equipment, including smart speakers and headphones, are more recent additions to the Apple product lineup. Apple released its first wireless headphones, the Apple AirPods, in 2016. Apple followed with several other audio products, including the HomePod smart speaker, and later the popular HomePod mini smart speaker.
Acquisition of Beats Electronics
In 2014, Apple made headlines when it announced that it was acquiring Beats Electronics for $3 billion. Beats was founded in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. The company is best known for its line of headphones, which are very popular with celebrities and young people.
The Apple-Beats acquisition brought several audio products into Apple’s product lineup, including the Beats Solo and Studio headphones, the Powerbeats earbuds, and the Pill+ portable speaker.
Apple vs Bose Legal Battles
Bose and Apple have been involved in a few legal battles over the years. In July of 2017, Apple was sued by Bose for patent infringement. The lawsuit claimed that Apple had used technology from Bose in their own headphones without permission. The case was settled out of court in September of 2017.
In March of 2019, Bose sued Apple again, this time for infringing on five of its patents related to noise-cancelling technology. The case is currently ongoing.
April Fools Story – Apple Buys Bose
AppleInsider published a story on April Fool’s day in 2019, claiming that Apple had purchased Bose for $500 million. The story was quickly debunked as a hoax, but not before causing quite a stir on social media. After all, it was incredibly believable. Apple had been developing headphones and other audio equipment for years, a market in which Bose was well positioned. So to some, the fake news story made sense.
But of course, Apple did not buy Bose. The two companies remain competitors in the audio market, with each offering a range of headphones, speakers, and other sound products. Apple’s Beats brand is particularly strong in the headphone space, while Bose continues to innovate in the noise-cancelling headphone market.
In our opinion, the 2019 April Fool’s day joke is the origin of the myth that Apple owns Bose. It’s one of those perfect storm situations where all the pieces of the story seem to logically fit, so the joke is believable. But the truth is that Apple does not own Bose, and at least publicly, has never expressed interest in acquiring them.
Bose has been an innovator and market leader in the audio market for many decades. Apple is a newcomer to the audio game, developing its own smart speakers over the last few years, and also recently acquiring Beats Electronics in a major deal. An April Fool’s joke gave the impression that made sense to so many, that Apple bought Bose. But it was simply that, a joke. So if you’re wondering “is Bose owned by Apple?”, the answer is no. Bose remains a private company, and the two remain direct competitors in many areas of audio equipment.