The headphones are gigantic. The advertising is inescapable. And now the maker of either the best or the worst music accessories on the market (depending on who you ask) is in the music streaming game. Beats Music is now on the Play Store, offering a streaming catalog of "over 20 million songs from every genre" for ten bucks a month. Beats will be competing with Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, and oh yeah, Google Music All Access.
If Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music All Access, Rdio, Rhapsody, or any of the other streaming music services just haven't been able to deliver the experience you're looking for, make way for the newcomer to the scene: Beats Music. It's launching January 21st with support for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile (aside from the desktop, of course), and actually brings a couple of features that the other guys should pay attention to.
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.
Dell sells computers. They also sell other stuff. Usually we don't care - after all, Amazon sells even more other stuff, and most of the time it's cheaper. But every once in a while Dell comes up with a jaw-dropping deal. Like today: you can pick up a Sprint HTC One from the Dell Mobility Store for $50 on-contract for new customers. That's a cool $150 off the retail price. But wait, there's more...
If you're looking for an audio-focused smartphone and some sweet speakers to use it with, have we got a deal for you. Today the AT&T website published one of its occasional package deals, a 32GB HTC One plus the Beats Audio Pill Bluetooth speaker for $99.99 together. Naturally you'll need to sign a new two-year contract with AT&T in order to take advantage of the price, but even if you don't care about the portable speaker at all, it's $100 off the base price of one of the best Android smartphones around.
It took them the better part of two years, but HP is finally ready to get back in the consumer tablet game, this time backing Android. Their first tablet will be the Slate 7, a small model that's light on price and even lighter on surprises. Roughly comparable to the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, the 1024x600 FFS+ LCD screen sits on top of a 1.6Ghz dual-core A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of MicroSD-expandable storage.
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.
HTC's marketing of Beats Audio on its One Series handsets has rapidly become a joke among critics and internet commentators alike. And that's probably putting it nicely. The fact that the entirety of the Beats "enhancements" found on aforementioned phones has been zipped up and packaged to flash on any Android 2.3+ handset has, at least in the collective minds of the internet, exposed the Beats partnership for what it is: equalization software and a fancy logo.
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.