Apple culls Beats webpage from online store ahead of 'iPhone 12' event [u]

in General Discussion edited October 2020
Apple has altered its website to remove a page for "Beats by Dre," a possible sign that the company is shifting itself away from the headphone electronics brand in favor of its own name.

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Since the purchase of Beats in 2014, Apple has promoted the popular brand at the same time as its own products, and in recent years technologies developed by Apple have crossed over to Beats devices. However, it seems that Apple is slowly moving from promoting Beats on its own website, by removing a prominent page about the hardware.

Spotted by Apple Terminal, the page in the online Apple Store for "Beats by Dr. Dre" listed the Beats products Apple sold, across multiple product lines. The list ranged from the wireless Powerbeats Pro earphones to premium over-ear models like the Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones.

The exact date of when the page was taken down is unknown, but Wayback Machine results point to it happening between October 2 and October 9. Attempts to visit the page now result in a message stating "The page you're looking for can't be found."

Despite the removal of the page, Apple is still selling Beats products in its online store as usual. It is feasible that the page could have been taken down as part of a general tidying up of online assets ahead of Tuesday's special event.

Rumors about Apple migrating away from the Beats brand have surfaced since the high-priced acquisition took place, but so far the brand has been maintained and expanded upon by Apple.

One possible reason for its removal could be Apple's preparation to launch the "AirPods Studio," a pair of premium over-ear headphones that are rumored to provide AirPods Pro features in a more luxurious package. Thought to be priced from around $349, the headphones are speculated to be modular with exchangeable parts, and be offered in a "Sport configuration with cheaper materials alongside a luxury leather and metal version for roughly $599.

Despite being the second special event, rumors claim Apple won't use the presentation to launch the new headphones.

Apple has reinstated the Beats landing page.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Apple Terminal?

    Are they a new bunch? Don't think I've heard of them before.

  • Reply 2 of 7
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Apple Terminal?

    Are they a new bunch? Don't think I've heard of them before.

    Most articles appear to be from Sami. One busy person that’s for sure...
  • Reply 3 of 7
    There are more models of Beats headphones than there are Buicks 
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Apple bought Beats because of branding. Back in the early 2010s Samsung got a lot of mileage from depicting Apple as "establishment country club squares" and themselves as the "hip urban rebels against the status quo." Apple was opera, Samsung hip-hop, and so forth. So in addition to heavily marketing LeBron James and their infamous ads skewering not only Apple products but their consumers, Samsung had tie-ins with Beats including preinstalling Beats Radio - and its hip hop heavy programming - on every Samsung phone or tablet and cross promotions where Samsung phones and tablets and Beats headphones were featured together in marketing materials. Apple's buying Beats was a play to alter their image just a bit and chase the same crowd.

    But now, times have changed. Beats is no longer the hottest headphone brand. Apple's "image" is now the biggest and most profitable company in history, and it is Google and Facebook with the image problems. (Everyone hates Google and loves Microsoft now when just a few years ago it was the opposite.) More important, the headphones market is no longer considered a "music" one at all but instead a tech one. It is but a part of the "wearables" market that Apple dominates profits, mindshare and much of the market share with AirPods and the Apple Watch. And as someone whose formative years were spent with oversized headphones attached to battery-powered Sony Walkmans, we aren't going back. Apple succeeded at this where Google failed - smartwatches, smart jackets, smart jeans, smart shoes, smart glasses - after years of trying. (As for Samsung, while they did - and still do - offer smart watches, they focused more on smart home building on their existing strength in appliances than on wearables. And the idea of coming up with a smart home app for their watches seems to have eluded them. They shouldn't feel too bad, as even though you should be able to use Google Assistant on your watch to control your smart speaker, Android TV, smartphone, smart bulb or whatever in practice it doesn't really work.)

    In the short term, buying Beats ended their very successful partnership with Samsung. Apple fans - who were never going to buy Galaxy phones in the first place - will always hate those advertising campaigns but they did their job in establishing Samsung as a tech brand where before they were only associated with appliances in the west. Apple buying them was a smart move. (Samsung considered buying Beats before Apple did but decided against it because Samsung had their own audio products line ... two of them in fact. In retrospect Samsung should have just bought them anyway.) In the intermediate term, the guts of Beats Radio became Apple Music, a core part of Apple's growing services empire. And in the long term, Apple's next wave of products - Apple Watch and then AirPods - made Beats obsolete and irrelevant. Walking around with massive headphones over your hears is no longer a coolness signifier. Instead, even in the same urban areas that Samsung targeted with their LeBron and Beats spots years ago, now AirPods are

    As for AirPods Studio ... fine. They are a far more successful and mainstream product than Beats ever were. Despite Beats' hip factor, no one copied Beats and a significant portion of the population - including not a few ardent Apple consumers - would never buy them because they wanted no association with "Doctor Dre" and what he and his "music" represent. Meanwhile everyone (but Samsung) has copied AirPods. So ditching yesterday's news in favor of Apple's most successful and influential product since the iPhone is just good business. The HomePod replaces the Pill. AirPods Studio replaces the headphones. And the Beats brand is no more. It is just business, and part of that is progress. After all, it is not like there is any sentimental attachment towards a product line that Apple didn't develop and has only been part of their portfolio for about 5 years - and has been a declining brand in favor of AirPods for much of that time - anyway.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,780member
    The updated story shows that the Beats page has been restored. Apple does update its existing pages periodically.

    Beats is, regardless of your or my opinion of it, an extremely popular brand -- particularly for on-ear headphones. Apple has shown zero interest in phasing out the Beats branding because of this, introducing the Powerbeats 4 (which have garnered very strong reviews) just last March. I don't think Beats is going anywhere for a long time to come, though in some areas Apple will probably favour its own Apple branding for various kinds of mainstream and pro headphones, leaving Beats to continue as a (very large) specialized brand with customers for whom its "all about that bass" (or, in the case of Powerbeats, "all about that workout").
  • Reply 6 of 7
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,293member
    cloudguy said:
    Apple bought Beats because of branding...
    Wow, that was a well reasoned and written post. Thanks for that!
  • Reply 7 of 7
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,354member
    cloudguy said:
    Apple bought Beats because of branding.
    I disagree entirely. 

    For one, Apple's brand has NEVER been about dilution. Adding a second brand that isn’t "Apple" doesn’t strengthen the Apple brand. Beats was an option that didn’t WEAKEN the Apple brand, like it would have it they’d bought, say, Gateway or Tandy.

    Second, Beats were never marketed as "Beats by Apple" or so. Apple never showed up in the Beats hardware branding. They’ve recently added AppleCare+ to the line, and the support and Shop links mention and lead to Apple, but that’s it. It’s not part of the marketing literature, nor is there an Apple logo anywhere. 

    Third, you’re completely ignoring streaming. The iTunes Store was the first and biggest music download store, but by 2014, Spotify was rising, and it was obvious (sadly) that streaming was where the industry was headed. Apple had nothing. Beats had a brand, and they had a streaming infrastructure, including the necessary licensing — and they had Jimmy Iovine as a hub into the record industry, which Apple needed. 

    The profitability of the Beats hardware brand alone paid for the acquisition costs by itself over the years, and Apple Music is the Number 2 music streaming service globally. 
    And the Beats hardware know-how crossed over into Apple's offerings, and vice-versa. 
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