HTC and Beats break ties, stake returned for $265 million


HTC has announced that it has sold back its stake in Dr Dre’s Beats Audio brand for $265 million, ending a partnership that never quite took off the way either party envisioned. HTC’s minority share of 25 percent will be returned to Beats after the latter called upon investment firm The Carlyle Group to help complete the buyback.

What could this mean for the future of Beats and HTC? It’s unclear whether or not the mobile maker plans to continue licensing technology from Dre’s headphone company. It makes us wonder if HTC will still place an emphasis on audio capabilities like BoomSound in future releases.

HTC, however, has bigger things to worry about, and $265 million extra in the bank for shares in a company that wasn’t taking them where they needed to be seems like a good deal. If HTC wants to turn its fortunes around, a split was in the best interest of both parties.

[via NYTimes]

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TAGS: Beats Audio


    I liked Beats, but i doubt that it being missing from a future phone will make much of a difference sound wise. Theres only so much quality you can get from a smartphones speakers.

    • Craig Becker

      I think its not just speaker quality on the phone but can improve audio quality for headphones. Pry more noticable in higher quality headphones as well. I remember the voodoo sound mod app for rooted galaxy S 1’s that made a huge improvement in audio quality for headphones.

      I personally have never used headphones on a beats audio phone, but the HTC one has decent sound quality and speakers on it.

  • Craig Becker

    “If HTC wants to turn its fortunes around, a split was in the best interest of both parties.”

    And now the writers on phandroid are financial advisors and experts? Please give us just facts.

    • toomuchgame441

      Don’t be *that* guy man…


    Wasn’t beats just an equalizer?

  • JonnyPo

    The ship is sinking faster each passing day.

    • DavidVarghese

      You really don’t like HTC do you? No need for you to say BS like this, cause on the end, it only hurts your credibility for adding anything interesting in a forum discussion.

      If you think the ship is sinking, jump ship, and don’t talk about how you jumped the ship, or keep telling people to jump the ship. Thanks.

      • ka1iban

        Doesn’t make it untrue…

  • Boris

    Beats….the Apple of headphones. Nothing more than an overpriced fashion statement.

    • malcmilli

      that and it amplifies the sound of one’s media quite nicely above that of many other headphones.

      • Chad Vincent

        I’ll keep my Sennheisers, thank you.

        • CerealFTW

          I agree, my amperiors are clear af. much better than those garbage beats

          • Max

            also the build quality of beats is ridiculously terrible they were the #1 returned item and #1 warranty exchanged item when i worked at geek squad every single month. also you should know they are one of the few items bestbuy makes an absurd profit margin on.

          • CerealFTW

            I’m not surprised. My friends $200 solos broke so he went out and got his mom to buy him some $300 beats smh every part of my sennheisers is replaceable and this thing is built like a tank so no beats for me:D but I’d maybe consider the monster turbine coppers because of good reviews on head-fi

        • CalypsoArt

          Exactly. I have the Sennheisers that came with my Rio player of years ago. Compared to the ubiquitous iPod for looks and UI the Rio was awful. Compared to the iPod for sound? The iPod was like a megaphone in a barrel. The Sennheisers made the Rio sound like being at the philharmonic for real.

          • Max

            Seriously god bless the rio karma, one of the best devices ever created, that nipple control was amazing. If I hadn’t broken mine attempting to snowboard with it (apparently that warning about not operating above 10,000 feet is real, lol harddrive spun so fast it killed itself), i’d still be rocking it.

            apple was able to succeed in running all the other mp3 players out of business in the u.s. and what we ended up with was a lack of innovation and competition.

            also archos used to make some astounding products, before the euro-u.s. exchange rate went crazy and priced them out of the market.

          • CalypsoArt

            Yep. Paid $125 on sale for my Karma when A-pods were going for $400. I dropped it out of my bag on the lawn when I was leaving for a week long trip. It sat in the direct rain and sun (Florida) for seven days. I found it when I got back and it still worked, but the sun had baked the display and that was dead. I’d just hit play, and let it surprise as to what would play. I eventually sold it on eBay for $60! Someone wanted it for the hard-drive. But the sound! No other unit I tried came close.

    • hoz590

      yeah. I have a $15 pair from Amazon that sound just as good as the Beats that came with my rezound.

  • DavidVarghese

    “I bought the HTC One because it has Beats.”

    -Said no one ever.

    It’s not that having Beats is a bad thing, it’s just an equalizer with some hardware improvements like a dedicated amplifier and plastic tip around the headphone jack to reduce white noise. But all in all, I don’t care for it too much.

    It’s sad to see HTC doing bad compared to Beats though… Beats is all marketing and no substance, which HTC is substance without marketing.

    • malcmilli

      i didnt buy my old Evo LTE because of Beats, but i did really enjoy Beats’ presence.

    • Chad Vincent

      It’s not like HTC has to stop making audio a priority without the logo, either.

  • ac

    Hits keep coming…although, I still feel that Beats are highly overrated (even though I love the form factor of the Powerbeats).

  • real0325

    I’ve compared beats to others and they blow them out of the water, now fork over a bit more of course you could find better. Thats monster beats I’m referring too.

  • corona10

    I love Beats audio. It makes everything sound better than it does without. I hope they keep using it.

  • Steven Skwarkowski

    Why can’t we see more comparisons with these DACs? I’d like to see more Wolfson, Burr Brown, etc in our cell phones, tablets, laptops