HTC announces 'major' $300M investment in Beats Electronics

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
After teasing a "major news announcement" for the company, HTC CEO Peter Chou revealed that it has acquired a $300 million majority stake in audio technology company Beats Electronics, with the first HTC product to implement Beats technology due out later this year.



HTC said early Wednesday that it would make a major announcement on Thursday. The gravitas of the teaser had led some to suggest that the company might announce a settlement to its fierce legal dispute with rival Apple.



The rumored settlement failed to materialize, however, as Chou instead revealed the new partnership with Beats Electronics in an interview with All Things D.



?With the magic of mobile devices, it is easier than ever to discover and buy new music,? he said. ?However, without great sound experience it is a shame.? According to the executive, the deal will help create "an emotional connection" to the HTC brand.



Chou said the first HTC product to include Beats technology will arrive later this year, but declined to provide further details. Beats has a pre-existing deal with HP that will remain intact, according to CEO Jimmy Iovine, as will the company's partnership with Monster on the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones.







HTC's deal with Beats follows a controversial $300 million acquisition of S3 Graphics. Given that S3 Graphics is currently suing Apple over image compression patents, it has been suggested that HTC purchased the company in order to gain leverage in its fight with Apple.



Investors have criticized the move as being unwise, but Chou has said the company will quickly prove worth its purchase price.



Apple's patent dispute with HTC began last year and has since come to be seen as a touchstone for the larger legal battle between Apple and Android. The U.S. International Trade Commission recently issued an initial ruling that found HTC had violated two of Apple's patented inventions. The ITC has also opened another investigation in response to a second complaint by Apple.



Chou has downplayed the seriousness of the disagreement, calling it a mere "distraction" and reassuring investors that the company will be unaffected by the lawsuits. But, analysts have cautioned that Apple may secure a high royalty precedent on HTC's and other manufacturers' Android devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    I've heard these "Beats" may be even higher quality than Apple's standard earbuds.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    bedouinbedouin Posts: 331member
    If you want to spot someone with an IQ lower than 100, look for Beats by Dre headphones.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    I like how an article about HTC signing with Beats turned into a discussion about HTC and Apple's lawsuit. I would really enjoy going one day hearing about mobile news that isn't about patent disputes
  • Reply 4 of 58
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post


    I've heard these "Beats" may be even higher quality than Apple's standard earbuds.



    They're nice, but HTC depending on audio quality of music playback to differentiate themselves is a bit of a retro move.



    Interesting play, in taking a majority stake they can block out other potential or current licensees.



    Still, a bit retro and it ain't really gonna make HTC rise above mediocre.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,280member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LogicNReason View Post


    I like how an article about HTC signing with Beats turned into a discussion about HTC and Apple's lawsuit. I would really enjoy going one day hearing about mobile news that isn't about patent disputes



    What reason would an AppleInsider blog have to talk about general Mobile News if the news maker had no connection, pro or con, to Apple?
  • Reply 6 of 58
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,280member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    They're nice, but HTC depending on audio quality of music playback to differentiate themselves is a bit of a retro move.



    Interesting play, in taking a majority stake they can block out other potential or current licensees.



    Still, a bit retro and it ain't really gonna make HTC rise above mediocre.



    Perhaps we won't see HP laptop commercials anymore with Dr. Dre?
  • Reply 7 of 58
    Beats is a complete effing scam! Why do I say that? Because I have heard the sound and it isn't anything to write home about. But,If you're a sucker for high concept design then Monster's Beats' products and their superfluous packaging are right up your alley.

    They are also built like s***! Everywhere I saw them they were freaking busted.
  • Reply 8 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    They're nice, but HTC depending on audio quality of music playback to differentiate themselves is a bit of a retro move.



    Interesting play, in taking a majority stake they can block out other potential or current licensees.



    Still, a bit retro and it ain't really gonna make HTC rise above mediocre.



    Beats headphones can sound great and all, but I bet they don't sound better than these:

    http://www.amazon.com/MEElectronics-...dp_ob_title_ce



    I own the previous model, those are even cheaper. You can't really get anything better until you hit the $100-250 range, a price I would never pay. At least, my ears certainly can't tell the difference.



    I don't do over the ear headphones, but I do know of $100 pairs that could easily beat the $300 beats. Hah, see what I did there? It just shows you how far marketing gets you...I'm sure you could find a pair of sub $100 Sennheisers that sound a lot better or the same as Beats.



    Anyway, all this is besides my main point, which is that I still don't know what Beats Electronics does besides produce unspectacular headphones! What does the Beats audio software actually DO in an HP PC? It seems like it would just be another piece of bloatware I would uninstall along with the Norton trial.
  • Reply 9 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    Beats is a complete effing scam! Why do I say that? Because I have heard the sound and it isn't anything to write home about. But,If you're a sucker for high concept design then Monster's Beats' products and their superfluous packaging are right up your alley.

    They are also built like s***! Everywhere I saw them they were freaking busted.



    Yeah, especially bad considering that the feeling of cheapness is amplified when you try on abused store models. They don't feel like they would last more than a few months for all those heavy listeners out there.



    Hey Dr. Dre....release Detox already. Oh, does the album suck, and you aren't nearly at your best anymore? Then don't release it, quit it with this delaying nonsense.



    People like Lil Wayne basically crap out a new song every day that's half decent, most quite a lot better than any of the Detox leaked tracks. Not saying Lil Wayne is the greatest either...like I said he literally just craps them out and they are good enough to get some radio play. And if the song sucks? Well, just crap out another one tomorrow. At least it's not an 11 year constipation. . .
  • Reply 10 of 58
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Perhaps we won't see HP laptop commercials anymore with Dr. Dre?



    Yeah, I was thinking about the HPs. But those are laptops. In any case who knows what HTC is going to do with Beats.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    Beats is a complete effing scam! Why do I say that? Because I have heard the sound and it isn't anything to write home about. But,If you're a sucker for high concept design then Monster's Beats' products and their superfluous packaging are right up your alley.

    They are also built like s***! Everywhere I saw them they were freaking busted.



    I haven't been impressed with them. I use on-ear headphones now, Sennheiser HD 218. Good enough for me for less than $100. Now I see they're less than $50! I'm no audiophile but it's given me a good aural experience across iDevices, Mac and PC. Good bass, closed back so it cuts out the noise. The "leather" came off after a year on the ear pads but I just bought replacement ear pads because I'm so used to the sound of these headphones. I've even made tracks in Logic just using these headphones eg. http://soundcloud.com/mizutrance/miz...imalist-sketch ... Good enough for the genre of music I like (trance/progressive) and for PC gaming. I'm no audiophile or fancy producer, I just like what I like.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post


    Beats headphones can sound great and all, but I bet they don't sound better than these:

    http://www.amazon.com/MEElectronics-...dp_ob_title_ce



    I own the previous model, those are even cheaper. You can't really get anything better until you hit the $100-250 range, a price I would never pay. At least, my ears certainly can't tell the difference.



    I don't do over the ear headphones, but I do know of $100 pairs that could easily beat the $300 beats. Hah, see what I did there? It just shows you how far marketing gets you...I'm sure you could find a pair of sub $100 Sennheisers that sound a lot better or the same as Beats.



    Anyway, all this is besides my main point, which is that I still don't know what Beats Electronics does besides produce unspectacular headphones! What does the Beats audio software actually DO in an HP PC? It seems like it would just be another piece of bloatware I would uninstall along with the Norton trial.



    Points well taken. Though I'm actually an on-ear headphones guy, not in-ear. As for the HP with Beats don't they have "special speakers"? It's all mainly marketing anyways. Wasn't there Harmon Kardon branded laptop audio as well? I guess it's just life in the commodity PC game.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Yawn ....
  • Reply 12 of 58
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,280member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post


    Beats headphones can sound great and all, but I bet they don't sound better than these:

    http://www.amazon.com/MEElectronics-...dp_ob_title_ce



    I own the previous model, those are even cheaper. You can't really get anything better until you hit the $100-250 range, a price I would never pay. At least, my ears certainly can't tell the difference.



    I don't do over the ear headphones, but I do know of $100 pairs that could easily beat the $300 beats. Hah, see what I did there? It just shows you how far marketing gets you...I'm sure you could find a pair of sub $100 Sennheisers that sound a lot better or the same as Beats.



    Anyway, all this is besides my main point, which is that I still don't know what Beats Electronics does besides produce unspectacular headphones! What does the Beats audio software actually DO in an HP PC? It seems like it would just be another piece of bloatware I would uninstall along with the Norton trial.



    If I want solid sound in headphones I'll buy these or the new 380 Pro: http://www.sennheiserusa.com/profess...umaural_004974



    I haven't walked around with earbuds since I was in college back in the 90s.
  • Reply 13 of 58
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,133member
    Now, these are quality headphones: http://www.bowers-wilkins.co.uk/Head.../Overview.html



    Those Dr Dre Beats aren't anything special, not by a long shot!
  • Reply 14 of 58
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post


    I've heard these "Beats" may be even higher quality than Apple's standard earbuds.



    I just don't see anyone over the age of 14 altering a decision to purchase an iPad or iPhone because some piece of junk Android device has teenage appealing ear buds. It is the same marketing strategy used before such as ads that show Droids are used by space age storm troopers. That simply didn't work. In fact if this is HTC's answer to taking on Apple it is either a sign of desperation or a total lack of reality or perhaps both. They may as well offer free plastic models of Darth Vader with every purchase.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    What reason would an AppleInsider blog have to talk about general Mobile News if the news maker had no connection, pro or con, to Apple?



    To sell us readers to their main customer, Google. AI makes money every time we click or comment.
  • Reply 16 of 58
    Firstly, I am a headphone/earphone freak. I own everything from Jerry Harvey customs earphones to FitEar, to MEEl, to Monster, to Mingo, to Sleek. I've heard them all and reviewed a lot of them.



    I'll have to quietly agree here. Though, Monster Turbine (in any flavour) is great, the Beats Tour are at best, meh for sound.



    Still, why does it matter their price? If people buy them, what gives? The reason I took issue with the Beats Tour is their cable was horrible (first batch, corrected later) and was prone to break. (It did.) Sound was overall the sound you get from a GOOD 40-50$ earphone, certainly not worth 150$, but then again, there are a LOT of overpriced (for performance) earphones out there from every company, even Sennheiser.



    As for earphones, if you gave up on them, you've probably never heard custom in ear earphones or high end earphones before, as they seal out the outside, and can get even more detailed than anything from the big boys, especially if you leave the comfort of your house.



    I use Sleek Audio CT7 on a daily basis, or Audio Technica's CK10. LOVE.
  • Reply 17 of 58
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post


    Firstly, I am a headphone/earphone freak. I own everything from Jerry Harvey customs earphones to FitEar, to MEEl, to Monster, to Mingo, to Sleek. I've heard them all and reviewed a lot of them.



    I'll have to quietly agree here. Though, Monster Turbine (in any flavour) is great, the Beats Tour are at best, meh for sound.



    Still, why does it matter their price? If people buy them, what gives? The reason I took issue with the Beats Tour is their cable was horrible (first batch, corrected later) and was prone to break. (It did.) Sound was overall the sound you get from a GOOD 40-50$ earphone, certainly not worth 150$, but then again, there are a LOT of overpriced (for performance) earphones out there from every company, even Sennheiser.



    As for earphones, if you gave up on them, you've probably never heard custom in ear earphones or high end earphones before, as they seal out the outside, and can get even more detailed than anything from the big boys, especially if you leave the comfort of your house.



    I use Sleek Audio CT7 on a daily basis, or Audio Technica's CK10. LOVE.



    Interesting. Didn't know spamming was allowed here.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    neiltc13neiltc13 Posts: 182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I just don't see anyone over the age of 14 altering a decision to purchase an iPad or iPhone because some piece of junk Android device has teenage appealing ear buds. It is the same marketing strategy used before such as ads that show Droids are used by space age storm troopers. That simply didn't work. In fact if this is HTC's answer to taking on Apple it is either a sign of desperation or a total lack of reality or perhaps both. They may as well offer free plastic models of Darth Vader with every purchase.



    Can no one just accept that HTC has purchased this company because it believes that it will allow them to create better products and have that be the end of it?



    Why is everything always a competition?



    As for your "piece of junk" comment - how many HTC devices have you used?
  • Reply 19 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    After teasing a "major news announcement" for the company, HTC CEO Peter Chou revealed that it has acquired a $300 million majority stake in audio technology company Beats Electronics, with the first HTC product to implement Beats technology due out later this year.



    HTC said early Wednesday that it would make a major announcement on Thursday. The gravitas of the teaser had led some to suggest that the company might announce a settlement to its fierce legal dispute with rival Apple.



    The rumored settlement failed to materialize, however, as Chou instead revealed the new partnership with Beats Electronics in an interview with All Things D.



    ?With the magic of mobile devices, it is easier than ever to discover and buy new music,? he said. ?However, without great sound experience it is a shame.? According to the executive, the deal will help create "an emotional connection" to the HTC brand.



    Chou said the first HTC product to include Beats technology will arrive later this year, but declined to provide further details. Beats has a pre-existing deal with HP that will remain intact, according to CEO Jimmy Iovine, as will the company's partnership with Monster on the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones.







    HTC's deal with Beats follows a controversial $300 million acquisition of S3 Graphics. Given that S3 Graphics is currently suing Apple over image compression patents, it has been suggested that HTC purchased the company in order to gain leverage in its fight with Apple.



    Investors have criticized the move as being unwise, but Chou has said the company will quickly prove worth its purchase price.



    Apple's patent dispute with HTC began last year and has since come to be seen as a touchstone for the larger legal battle between Apple and Android. The U.S. International Trade Commission recently issued an initial ruling that found HTC had violated two of Apple's patented inventions. The ITC has also opened another investigation in response to a second complaint by Apple.



    Chou has downplayed the seriousness of the disagreement, calling it a mere "distraction" and reassuring investors that the company will be unaffected by the lawsuits. But, analysts have cautioned that Apple may secure a high royalty precedent on HTC's and other manufacturers' Android devices.



    LOL



    Good for them - such actions only spell the end for their inferior technology at an even faster rate than before.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    They're nice, but HTC depending on audio quality of music playback to differentiate themselves is a bit of a retro move.



    Interesting play, in taking a majority stake they can block out other potential or current licensees.



    Still, a bit retro and it ain't really gonna make HTC rise above mediocre.



    What in the world makes anyone think that someone's going to change their phone purchasing decision on the basis of what might or might not be slightly better sound quality? And even if they are so concerned about sound quality, what stops them from buying a better set of headphones for their existing phone?



    Perhaps they're planning a change to the internal electronics, but that would be a waste, as well. Even today, the electronics in most phones are good enough that only a very tiny percentage of listeners in an ideal listening environment could possibly distinguish between phones.
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