Last year, Taiwanese mobile manufacturer HTC acquired 51% majority share in Beats Audio for $300 million. It was one of the biggest moves by Taiwanese manufacturer. Post-acquisition, the mobile manufacturer started bundling its phones with Beats Audio software along with high quality beats headphones in the market, which had music junkies jamming.
HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio was launched in September 2011 and was the first HTC phone to feature Beats Audio integration, however, the mobile manufacturer decided to stop bundling headphones and gave it as a paid option, which was a first step back in the joint effort. Now that the companies have found out that they are going in two separate directions, Beats has purchased some of its shares back from HTC.
With Beats purchasing 25% of the total shares that were with HTC for $150 million, Beats Audio now has more flexibility to go global, something which it couldn’t do for some reason while it was with HTC. They stated this move as “realignment” effort, however it looks like more of a transition towards independence. After this move, HTC is now 25% owner of Beats Audio and leaves Beats founders with 75% of the shares.
Despite this move, the companies have agreed that exclusivity of Beats Audio in the mobile market still remains with HTC, hence you won’t be finding phones from other manufacturers with Beats technology integrated, but again HTC will be just shipping their phones with Beats Audio software and not the high quality headphones itself, which gives the company no advantage in this department, apart from the marketing point of view of course. Beats Audio in smartphones is pretty much a very good equalizer and sound-improvement software and similar apps are available in Android Play Store in good numbers.