The much hyped Beats Audio-HTC split was finally confirmed by Beats last week, but there was still no clarification on whether upcoming HTC models (like the One Max for example) will come with Beats Audio tech inside. The President of Beats, Mr. Luke Wood has now cleared that up in an interview with stuff.tv. He said that while Beats is buying back 25% of its stake back from HTC, the deal hasn’t been completed yet and it still has a commitment to honor. So he reaffirmed that several new HTC devices will indeed pack Beats Audio branding and technology inside. So it’s good news for HTC fans that Beats is not completely writing itself off from HTC, not for now at least. Here’s an excerpt from Mr. Wood’s interview with stuff.tv
“They still have a 25 percent investment in the company, and additionally we still have a commercial deal with them, around the HTC One and several new devices coming out this fall. We have a large-format HTC device out in the fall – I don’t even know if they’ve announced it yet – so we’re still on that device. We learned a lot of great things with HTC. Right now I can’t comment as to whether that relationship will continue or not continue, but for Beats, it’s been very productive, because we’ve done a lot of work [on HTC phones] and I’m very proud of the way those devices sound.”
Via: Phone Arena
Over the summer, rumors surfaced that Beats Electronics was looking to end its partnership with HTC. It looks like those rumors have panned out, as today Beats has announced it has bought HTC’s stake in them for $265 million. Originally, HTC had a 50.1% stake in the company back in 2011, but that was reduced in 2012 to the 25% stake.
So now HTC has no stake and their partnership is over. No new phones (presumably) will be built with Beats Audio technology, but HTC will probably work on better technology for their speakers. This deal is expected to be closed by the end of this year.
Source: Dow Jones Business News via AndroidCentral
The evolution of technology has gotten us far ahead. One such evolution is in terms of music and how we handle it. Today with the digitalization of music, users don’t really have to walk into a store and purchase a physical disc to listen to his/her favorite album. In the current era have something known as singles which can be easily downloaded over the internet. What makes it better is that downloads are directly synced onto your mobile device in the case of the iPhones (via iTunes). iTunes is a brand which took the music industry by storm, in a sense that there was no other competing rival standing against it. But things are different today. There’s a music service from Amazon and Google with several other brands standing in line to launch their own service (including Dropbox). And now, it’s the popular Beats Audio which is all geared up to follow suit. The audio equipment brand has just made its intentions clear to launch an audio streaming service, known as Project Daisy for now. Beats Audio has appointed Ian Rogers for the project.
Rogers said in a statement – “After years of fighting and uncertainty, it’s now undeniable all the world’s music will be available on every device by just clicking play. However, the current streaming experiences aren’t good enough. They aren’t good enough for fans, who need it to be easier to find music they love. And they aren’t good enough for artists, who want to grow their audiences and make money. This is the opportunity I’ve been working toward my entire career.”
It seems like the right time to step into the music streaming arena, as almost every major cloud player seems to be interested in having a music streaming service of its own. But since Beats Audio doesn’t belong to that niche, its move will be interesting to see. Bear in mind, Beats Audio has a lot of big ticket names behind it. Its CEO, Jimmy Iovine is a music industry mogul known for signing several new talent and making them instant stars. This new service will benefit greatly from Trent Reznor too (Nine Inch Nails) as he has been appointed the Chief Creative Officer for this project. Iovine himself spoke greatly about the project and said – “What’s missing from the digital music landscape is a cultural context. We need to bring an emotional connection back to the act of music discovery. With Trent and now Ian we have the right team in place to do it.”
Beats Electronics acquired music service Mog in July last year, which gave birth to suspicion if the company had something under wraps. It has now formally confirmed the arrival of this service which should break cover in the latter part of 2013. It will be interesting to watch how Apple and other rival services react to Project Daisy now.
The buzz about HTC One X+ is now starting to build up as recent rumors suggest this handset would be released this Fall. Apparently, its name says it all: it is an upgrade from HTC’s flagship, One X. While many would think this device might not be real, Telus Canada already confirmed to put it under its strong lineup of HTC devices. There are also rumors that in the US, AT&T would be the sole provider to offer the subsidized variant bundled with LTE plans. All these things started to float in the first two days of October.
HTC’s strategy to keep its smartphone business going is to produce top-notch, high-quality products and it started in 2009. However, it was only in 2010 that people, especially tech enthusiasts, saw the shift in the company’s strategy. Thus, it is never a surprise to see new HTC devices bear really impressive hardware specs like HTC One X+.
One X+ will come with Tegra 3 AP37 chipset bearing 1.7GHz quad-core processor making it one of the very few devices that offers this much power. HTC said it will come with 1GB RAM, a bit low for a quad-core device but technically speaking it is more than enough for any mobile processes. It has a 4.7-inch display but HTC didn’t reveal the technology used. Canadian variants may get 32GB internal memory, other than that it would be 64GB plus a microSD card slot. However, as always, HTC devices don’t come with impressive cameras so you would get 8 megapixels for the primary and 1.6MP for secondary.
In an official press release, the company stated that HTC One X+ LTE is up to 67% faster than the LTE version of the One X. It didn’t specify the factors affecting this performance boost but if it were true, fans and tech enthusiasts may just be able to appreciate this device. That said, there’s another thing HTC has done to keep One X+ going, literally; a 2100mAh battery.
It will also come out of the box running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system with matching HTC Sense 4+. There is only a handful of devices released this year bearing the latest version of Android so it would be a treat to own this device especially tech enthusiasts.
HTC started opening up and sharing information about this device, it even shared a few design sketches to show how it was conceived and realized.
Late last week, Taiwanese phone maker HTC announced that it is selling 25% stakes back to Beats for $150 million to provide the latter a chance to “realign” and grow more in the market it is targeting. A few days after the announcement was made, some sources emerged saying HTC did not meet financial obligations to Beats Electronics that why it has to let go half of its stakes while giving Beats majority control.
Beats Electronics was founded by Jimmy Iovine and producer-rapper Dr. Dre. In August last year, the company sold 50.1 percent of its stakes to HTC for $300 million. This is the reason why new smartphone released by the latter feature Beats Audio. Having majority control over the company and to make the best out of the stakes it bought, Beats Audio was made exclusive to HTC devices only and it would remain that way as long as both companies still have connections.
CNET published a report a couple of days ago citing unnamed sources who allegedly confirmed that it was indeed the financial woes that pushed the Taiwan-based manufacturer to give back half of what it has acquired. But it was not just HTC’s decision, Beats Electronics also showed interest in taking back control of the company in a bid to realign its performance in a market it is trying to target.
Leading up to the partnership with HTC, Beats was doing great in the market. While it could be seen that closing a deal with a bigger company was the best thing to do, it was apparently a mistake as it signed contract with a company headed for trouble. Among other problems HTC faces are falling stock price, management shakeup and dwindling market share.
The blocking of HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE by the US Customs in May did take a toll on the company’s second quarter revenue. While there has been a lot of buzz when it released its flagship this year, the popularity was not converted to revenue. In fact, HTC saw disappointing sales in Europe as its new devices was released amidst crisis. Analysts predict that HTC shipment in North America will drop by 68% and in Europe, 38%.
Giving back 25% of the stakes was the best thing to do for both companies; HTC will be bound to lower financial obligations while Beats can do what needs to be done to bring in more revenue. The exclusivity of Beats Audio, however, will remain under HTC brand.
Sources: CNET | Beta News
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.
We just brought you the story of HTC’s horrible fiscal Q2 of 2012, now we’re hearing even more bad news from many people’s favorite Android phone manufacturers.
Well that was short lived, and 300 million dollars later HTC has announced that they are no longer going to package Beats by Dre headphones with their smartphones. Now don’t panic, the software is going to be there and as we reported back in February it will be on every phone with HTC Sense 4.0.
HTC’s main product executive told CNet “An accessory like the headphone doesn’t factor in when someone is buying a smartphone. If they want a Beats headphone, they’ll buy it directly.”
HTC did a partnership with Beats audio in 2011 to the beat of $300 million dollars. We were expecting HTC to continue shipping earbuds with their newest smartphones but that’s not the case any longer. We’re not sure what sparked this outside of HTC’s official statement however earlier this year it was announced that Beats Audio was having problems coming to terms with Monster who has been their manufacturing partner since the creation of the line.
HTC has released their Q1 fiscal year financial figures Friday and it wasn’t a pretty picture. The results announced Friday morning in Taiwan are the lowest they’ve seen since they rocketed to become a top 3 Android OEM two years ago.
Overall HTC reported profits were down 70% to roughly $148 million dollars while sales were down 35%. HTC was already planning for a rough quarter and announced earlier this year that they were going to focus on higher end phones and quality over quantity.
HTC also put it’s best marketing foot forward with several consumer facing advertising campaigns to support their HTC One line which started shipping this week in other parts of the world. HTC announced the follow up to the highly successful HTC Evo 4G, the EVO 4G LTE on Sprint at a press event earlier this week in New York City.
“We simply dropped the ball on products in the fourth quarter,” said Yung said during the Apr. 6 conference call, while noting the Rezound and Vivid handsets did not meet the company’s expectations.
Late last year when HTC announced a partnership with Beats Audio, it quickly got the Android world talking. Beats by Dre have risen to be one of the most popular lines of consumer headphones ever. HTC has teamed up with beats audio to bring some of the best aspects of Beats by Dre headphones to the smartphone.
When HTC’s CEO Peter Chou announced that Beats Audio would be available on any HTC Sense 4.0 phone he confirmed what many had thought. That was, that Beats Audio has nothing to do with the hardware, it’s all in the software.
More after the break
Sunday was one helluva day for HTC at Mobile World Congress. They announced their HTC One line of Android phones including the HTC One X headed to AT&T and the HTC One S headed to T-Mobile. HTC announced that their new flagship line of phones was headed out to 140 carriers globally, Verizon and Sprint are not among them.
If you’ve recently received a new HTC Android device, say in the past couple of months, and you’re sad that you aren’t going to be able to partake in the One series line up, this news may cheer you up.
More after the break
When Dr. Dre started off his musical career his first big group was the World Class Wrecking Crew. After that he joined hands with the Easy E and Ren and Ice Cube with NWA. After a very public break up of NWA, Dr. Dre joined forces with Snoop Doggy Dogg and most recently in the rap game, Eminem.
With all of these break ups and new marriages in his rap career the folks at Monster should have known their marriage wouldn’t last past the first five years they were bound to by contract. That’s what’s happening now.
There was noticeably less hum in the Monster booth at CES about Beats by Dre. Since there was no (and isn’t usually any) HTC Booth at CES there was no place to officially promote Beats Audio, the Beats headphones and the Beats integration with some of the HTC devices.
More after the break