We just got off the teleconference where HTC and Beats formally announced their new relationship. While that call didn’t tell us much more than what we already knew from news leaked and made official late last night, a nice nugget came from a retail partner shortly after the call ended. Best Buy is offering 20% off of any Beats by Dre headphones for anyone who buys an HTC smartphone this weekend. A good deal if you’re in the market for these two categories of products.
In the call itself, HTC confirmed that their investment was a 51% majority stake buyout through a $300 million investment, meaning they now own Beats. Nothing will change strategically or operationally in their core business – Beats will continue to run just as it always has, offering “premium” headphones and enhanced audio experiences inside of laptops. As for smartphones, Beats will be an exclusive entity of HTC’s – no one else can get in on this train.
That said, we should note that Beats integration might not be all that it’s cracked up to be when it’s all said and done. Most of the magic will come through software enhancement, something other OEMs have done on their own and have done well.
We’re still hopeful HTC and Beats will eventually develop new external speakers of higher quality, but we won’t get our hopes up. And anyone who owns a recently-launched HTC phone knows that the speaker quality on these things kinda stink. But that’s what this buyout is all about so let’s hope they put their newfound fortune to good use.