Aug, 10 2011

Remember earlier today how we posted HTC’s plans for a “major” announcement this Thursday? Well, as fun as it was guessing (Could it be a tablet? Unlocked bootloaders? Nexus Three?) thanks to AllThingsD, we now have a better idea what that announcement will be.

Apparently, HTC is investing $300 million dollars into the digital sound company, Beats Electronics. You may have seen this technology inside your HP computers, headphones automobiles and in commercials featuring none other than Dr. Dre himself. In an effort to garner some extra street cred, HTC will have exclusive rights to the tech in their smartphones and will begin integrating Beats audio into their entire line of products. According to HTC, we’ll being seeing the first Beats certified devices before the end of this year.

*UPDATE: Beats has officially confirmed their partnership with HTC ahead of Thursday’s announcement via their Tumblr blog:

Dear Beats Army:

Today marks an incredible day for sound and Beats by Dr. Dre.  We are announcing a partnership with HTC, one of the world’s leading wireless manufacturers. With this announcement, our two brands are coming together to redefine the smart phone category and redefine the way that sound is heard.

This partnership with HTC represents the next phase of our vision, placing the utmost importance on giving smart phone fans the opportunity to hear the highest-quality of sound possible.  The Beats team, still led by Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine, will continue to manage Beats autonomously.

This is truly an incredible chapter for Beats and we are proud to have you with us.  Let’s Go!


**UPDATE: HTC officially confirms via press release, their partnership with Beats Electronics. New devices with integrated Beats audio are said to be launching (exclusively?) in Best Buy stores this fall.

HTC and Beats have been working together to create superior mobile audio experiences for consumers, which will result in a line of HTC devices integrated with Beats sound innovations, available this fall.

“Beats has found a unique way to harness popular culture in a manner that is unlike any other brand today,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corp. “It’s an exciting brand that has been built around providing something very special, and we believe our strategic partnership will provide customers with unbeatable sound on HTC phones. We obsess over every detail of a consumer’s mobile experience, and audio is a critical part of that experience.”

HTC is known for unifying content, services and devices into unique mobile experiences. And Beats is known for its unique consumer brand appeal and ability to reproduce the full spectrum of sound captured in professional recording studios, allowing consumers to hear music the way the artist intended. Bringing these two great brands together will create superior mobile music and sound experiences while accelerating HTC’s entry into the youth and accessories markets globally.

“Our customers have clearly responded to Beats and HTC, and Best Buy is proud to feature their products in our stores,” said Brian J. Dunn, CEO, Best Buy. “We are committed to offering innovative and entertaining technologies that help consumers enhance their lives. Our customers expect that from us. The unique HTC Sense experience and the great sound of Beats provide prime examples of that focus.”

Still unknown is if this new functionality will be made available on HTC’s Android devices, Windows Phone 7 handsets or possibly both? Also unmentioned is if this tech will require a some type of hardware modification or be made available simply as an app and/or integrated into a future version of HTC’s Sense UI. I’m leaning a little more on the latter.

So what do you guys think? Is this a bit of a let down from what you were expecting from HTC? Or do you think this functionality will be a welcome addition to HTC and their Android lineup? Let’s just hope mainstream American doesn’t start identifying HTC’s Android devices as, “That Beats phone,” like they did with Verizon’s “Droids.”

[Via AllThingsD]

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