The partnership between HTC and the Beats By Dr. Dre company has been one of the more visible aspects of the former's branding over the last three years. Ever since HTC bought 50.1% of the company for an estimated $300 million in 2011, the headphone maker's iconic logo has had a reserved spot on both devices and software. But according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Beats is looking to end the relationship in order to find a new partner for greater expansion.
Update: HTC has officially denied the veracity of this rumor, and stated that it has no plans to discontinue use of Beats Audio in its handsets.
Original Article: I don't like Beats. You probably don't like Beats. In fact, it's really, really easy to not like Beats. According to news site MyDrivers.com, HTC might not like Beats anymore, either.
After ditching bundled Beats earbuds in April, and then selling 50% of its stake in the headphone and, uh, sound enhancement company, industry sources (yeah, yeah, we know how that goes) are saying that HTC is going to drop Beats Audio from its handset lineup entirely.
In a move that is going to surprise approximately no one who knows anything about selling smartphones, HTC has indicated to CNET that it no longer plans to bundle Beats headphones with its handsets.
The reasoning should be pretty obvious - people aren't going to buy a smartphone on the basis that it comes with a pair of decent headphones. Headphones are a separate market, and if you care about them at all, you're going to buy them separate of any other hardware.
In the world of premium headphones, there is an emerging market for "designer" products - a niche Beats By Dre has been all too happy to fill in cooperation with Monster Cable (until now - HTC will be taking over Beats' headphone production). In fact, Beats accounts for over half of the $1 billion headphone market in the US - succeeding in ways and in markets brands like Sennheiser and Grado could only dream of.
Earlier today, HTC sent a jolt of electricity through our tired bodies when their PR agency told us an exciting tale of important announcements scheduled to be delivered by Peter Chou himself (that's HTC's CEO) tomorrow morning.
Bootloader unlocking, exciting new phones and tablets, hoverboards - all of these thoughts started rapidly running through our minds, but like kids who couldn't wait until Christmas to unwrap their presents, the company first spilled the beans to AllThingsD, then followed up mere hours later with full details.