Beats and HTC start going in separate directions, smartphone exclusivity to continue


Last year’s HTC investment in Beats Audio was one of the biggest moves we have seen the Taiwanese manufacturer make. Bundling Beats Audio software along with some of the best headphones in the market had music junkies jamming. This was until HTC decided to stop bundling Beats headphones with new devices, signaling the first step back in this joint effort. These companies now find themselves taking steps into separate directions, as Beats purchases chunk of shares back from HTC.

What the companies are calling a “realignment” seems more like a slow transition to independence. This purchase is meant to “provide Beats with more flexibility for global expansion,” something it could not do when HTC owned about 50% of its shares.

Beats has purchased 25% of its total shares for $150 million. This leaves HTC with about 25% of ownership and Beats founders with about 75%.

Both companies have agreed to keep the Beats/HTC exclusivity alive in the mobile market. Without high-quality headphones being bundled, though, neither company will have a huge advantage in this department. We must remember that Beats Audio in smartphones is pretty much a very good equalizer and sound-improvement software. We could find similar offerings in the Google Play Store and simply purchase some high-end headphones.

[Source: HTC]

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  • bmg314

    Yeah, Beats overall has always been somewhat overrated.

  • Dudditz09

    Beats, software and headphones, are overrated IMO.

    • BlueLetter

      Still better than any alternatives you could get packaged with your phone though, at least at the time.

      • Dudditz09

        Granted but it doesn’t take much to find a decent eq from the market and if you care about headphones, chances are you will have decent ones.

        • BlueLetter

          and if you care about headphones then you probably wouldn’t sniff at a decent free set as well, just in case the other breaks, or gets lost or stolen etc.

      • Dean Politis

        I tried an HTC Rezound. I had several issues with it and returned it. One of the issues was with Beats. Several questions came to mind with Beats support. Why does it only work with HTC’s music player? It would have been great if worked with Google Music or Amazon Cloud Player. Why does it only work with Beat headphones? I’ve heard they changed it to work with other headphones than beats.
        Why doesn’t it work without headphones? Sometimes, you like to share something with someone and I am sure the cheap speakers inside would be improved with Beats audio.

        Until they fix those issues with Beats, it is just gimmicky.

        • BlueLetter

          Google Music and Amazon cloud player have waaaaay bigger issues than a lack of beats integration if you ask me…
          Course it’s gimmicky, but so is kevlar backing, so is uber-saturation from an AMOLED panel, so is a transparent light-up housing for hardware keys…welcome to android, the mobile OS where gimmicks go to flourish. At least this gimmick is kinda useful, if you like bass.

          • JordanKroeger

            BlueLetter I think you’re me…. this is weird but 100% with everything you say… weird…

          • BlueLetter

            hey, statistically everyone has to have a double right? lets just not read too far into this, might get creepy.

  • Pkmmte

    Beats audio was the biggest thing preventing me from purchasing an HTC One X. I didn’t want to spend time removing the beats software and finding cases to hide the beats logo in the back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      A Sharpie won’t work?

    • severinj

      agreed, i wouldnt be caught with beats anything

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Ditto.
      Having the lame “Beats” bass-heavy equalizer gimmick plastered all over the phone’s OS and hardware is worse than a tramp stamp… it’s a poser stamp.

      • BlueLetter

        I believe the word you’re looking for is “poseur”, and it’s a single logo painted onto the bottom of the back panel of the phone. How much time do you spend looking at the back of your phone?

  • Jayshmay

    A lot of things in this world are overrated!

  • juan

    Aww man, now people wont know I’m pimpin’ with my HTC. (Aka, involved in gang activities)

  • BigCiX

    I remember when the LG Thrill and HTC EVO 3D came out and people called it a gimmick. To me it was a bonus to have that feature. This is what beats software is to me……a bonus!

    • EarlyMon

      Beats is a few bits of storage and an option that you can turn off if you don’t like it as an extra.

      Hardly see the point of the fuss. I don’t use Bluetooth, but it doesn’t kill me to turn that off either.

      And for people that like those things, they’re there, no big deal.

  • rustygh

    Um beats blows. HTC got robbed!
    Dr jays a thief

    • http://www.facebook.com/degrion.hill Degrion Hill

      Who the heck is Dr. Jay?

      • EarlyMon

        Guess they were shooting for Dr. Dre and something happened.

      • rustygh

        ya dr dre., does it matter? some clown rapper that rips people off.
        sad part is so many fools pay that dude, what a joke.