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HTC and Beats by Dre End Partnership, Beats Buys Back its $265 Million in Shares

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We can’t say that we didn’t really see this coming. Rumors a few weeks ago leaked that Beats by Dre was toying with the idea of buying out HTC’s share in their company and today it actually happened. This morning HTC announced that Beats would be buying the last 25 percent share that HTC still owned in Beats for the sum of $265 million.

This marks the end of a two year partnership between the two companies. When HTC first invested in Beats, it was a surprising move, but one that looked like it could have had a lot of upside if done well. Unfortunately for the two, it never really flourished like they hoped and all the consumers got out of it was the Beats software that would come installed on HTC devices. With HTC struggling to push units compared to Samsung, Beats probably wanted to make sure they were separated from that. HTC did say that they would “continue to partner [with Beats] as future opportunities arise.”

Are you going to miss Beats by Dre?

Via: Engadget

  • stan zorin

    Good news for HTC, it will improve their market image when the company is no longer associated with the audio garbage called Beats.

  • James Hill

    Finally!

  • Gayuru

    I missed it alot

  • uncle paul

    GRADO LABS made in Brooklyn NY not China better and cheaper.

  • NexusMan

    HTC blew that deal terribly. The main, mot obvious thing they should have done, bundled Beats headphones with their phones, they didn’t save for like 1 or 2 early devices.

  • http://disqus.com/JHancock8/ JHancock

    now partner with bose!

  • sith77

    another NAIL in the coffin

  • Mike Hilal

    HTC is struggling because they HAVE to make something different. Had they just used a normal capacitance button setup (or OSK) and went the lightly skinned AOSP + tweaks route, they’d be backordered till time was time.

    • Chris

      stock android is for the nerds. HTC is aimed at the normal, everyday user

      • Mike Hilal

        They missed.

  • Chris

    lots of angry people commenting…

  • Fresh360

    The Geek in me says “Good riddance” the businessman in me questions this move. Although technically Beats arent the greatest head phones they do have the premium market cornered with sub premium wares (which means the company is always in the black). So as Beats marketshare grows wouldnt it have been in HTC’s best interest to hold onto their % and sell it later for a larger sum. Investors with WAY less than 25% hold sway over other companies, HTC could have leveraged this tremendously.

  • Lance Davidson

    That was the best thing about the Htc “one”…I view this as a FU from beats to Htc!

  • Stephen

    Funny thing..I had the Rezound and they came with Beats headphones and the software installed on the phone. I just got the One and it has Beats software, but it does not activate when I plug in the Beats headphone, but did activate when I plugged in a pair of cheap Sony headphones.

  • FAL_Fan

    And HTC has just made their first profit in years! Good for them!

  • Twofourturbo

    I wouldn’t miss HTC if they ultimately disappeared.

    • Sherlock Holmes

      Seriously? They’re the ones that got Android a lot of recognition thanks to the HTC One’s building materials. You may not like them but Android needs as many OEMs as possible to keep innovating and to provide more options for consumers.

      • Tim242

        Seriously? Only dumb bloggers that were too dumb to realize that materials don’t matter for most people, gushed about it. They were too dumb to remember that HTC made several aluminum unibody phones before the One…Desire, Thunderbolt, Inspire, to name a few. HTC phones always have hardware and/or software issues. I owned 8 different HTC phones before switching to Samsung.

        • Rammstein

          Seriously?

          • Tim242

            Affirmative.

        • Adrynalyne

          What exactly was Unibody about the Thunderbolt?

          I recall switching batteries daily so….

          • Tim242

            It has a metal unibody, with a battery door cutout. Google it.

          • Adrynalyne

            I did.

            http://www.ifixit.com/Device/HTC_Thunderbolt

            What is unibody about that?

            For reference, here is a real unibody:

            http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/HTC+One+Teardown/13494/1

          • Tim242

            It is a unibody because the frame is a solid piece of aluminum, with a cutout for the battery. Every reviewer pointed this out. Let me Google that for you. See below.

          • Adrynalyne

            and yet the teardown shows otherwise. Go with your biased bloggers (see what I did there, same you did to me), or go with the many different parts of the teardown. If it was unibody, it wouldn’t have this:

            http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/mDCTlQmtnJO5lhHy.standard

            Nor a removable battery door.

            Nor a removable rear panel:

            http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/NUEjZhsfWkcnKF3p.standard

          • Tim242

            How bout I go with HTC announcement. The One has a plastic ringaround the sides. The Inspire had a battery door on the side. You just like to argue. The proof is there.

          • Adrynalyne

            Proof of what? That marketing BS is just that? Feel free not to address my claims. Since when does unibody mean a ton of removable panels?

            Lets go with the car definition:

            http://ask.cars.com/2008/10/what-is-unibody.html

            “Unibody is a type of vehicle body construction in which the frame and body are a single unit.”

            Frame is one piece: Check. Body is one piece: Nope

          • Tim242

            The HTC One has a plastic ring around the sides. The Thunderbolt has an aluminum frame…the front, back, and sides are one connected piece of metal. There is a cutout for battery door and antennas. Did you even own a Thunderbolt? I’m not going to waste my day arguing over this. I know it’s aluminum unibody, HTC knows it, most Thunderbolt owners know it, and every reviewer knows it.

          • Adrynalyne

            “Ima takin my ball and going home cuz I believe in marketing talk” is all I heard.

          • Tim242

            Be sure to check out the screenshot below. It shows the definition of unibody. I guess you are going to argue with the definition and say that vehicles can’t be unibody because there are cutouts for windows. Now, go home troll.

          • Adrynalyne

            Whats wrong, little Timmy? Getting angry?

          • Tim242

            Wow, a thunderbolt Dev that has no idea what he’s talking about. Nice surrender.

          • Adrynalyne

            I am a software developer. Care to let me in on what phone construction has to do with that? Or is that too much to comprehend? Surrender? No. Amusement? Yes.

          • Tim242

            Definition.

          • Daistaar

            To be fair Tim, Adrynalyne was the truth in the Thunderbolt community and Bamf’s best dev. Also, The ‘Bolt wasn’t unibody, regardless of what HTC and the reviewers may have claimed. I remember disassembling mine to do an LCD and Glass replacement and it was various pieces with the frame and back being separate. The backing was also plastic (not aluminum) as was the kickstand, though it had a nice matte chrome finish.

          • Tim242

            The top, sides, front frame, and bottom is one solid piece of aluminum. The kickstand is stainless steel.

          • NemaCystX

            The Inspire is unibody and it has a removable battery but its hard to remove since its gotta slide out like a cartridge.

          • Adrynalyne

            Yeah, but the Bolt was nothing like that. I think the Desire HD was the same way as the Inspire.

          • Rammstein

            I applaud you for this nice discussion. I wouldn’t have put up with him for as long as you did.

          • NemaCystX

            That is NOT metal, I have the Tbolt and its a big chunk of plastic, I even knocked a good chunk of it off the corner when I dropped it. Its not metal, not like the Inspire. Verizon skipped on the good materials on that device

          • Tim242

            You should feel pretty stupid. See screenshot. It is as metal as metal gets. I’m not going to argue. The proof is there.

      • Chris

        agreed, theres more to android then sexist samsung.,…

    • Butters619

      HTC makes beautiful phones. No need to take out a player.

      • David Nguyen

        If they make nice phones, then why aren’t they selling? lack of updates? advertisement? bad hardware? who knows.

        • Chris

          advertising. updates don’t matter to the average consumer

        • Supa_Fly

          I thought the HTC One is selling quite well, no? IT’s received rave reviews … and to be honest I applaud HTC for finally bringing quality stereo speakers to the smartphone … its not like nobody has wanted this for years by now!

          After all they do have good designs (save their first LTE device yikes that thing was uglier than a horse-riding-ugly momma with a wedge) … and their not BlackBerry. Yes I … the defending (no longer) BB fan-boy said it!

          Finally seeing the truth!

    • Tim242

      I used to be an HTC only user. But, theyare done. Their hardware and/or software always has issues.

    • jak_341

      I actually kind of agree. The lower tier brands are hurting Android’s reputation as a whole. People are buying lower tier devices, that offer a subpar experience and are blaming Android and Google. Where Google needs to improve is more control over OEMs that are not offering a good user experience. If OEMs can not do this, they can not use Android.

    • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

      AGREED 1000%.

  • GentlemanScholar

    What’s interesting about Beats not having the most accurate, flattest frequency response in their products is that they purchased MOG streaming service which generally streams at a higher quality than Spotify, Pandora and other streaming services.

  • Eric

    Beats is an audiophile’s worst nightmare.

    • Chris

      peopl;e are just mad they cant aford them

      • user311

        No. People who actually like music and high quality sound know that there are much better audio options out there. I for one own a lot of earbuds and headphones which range from 10 bucks to over a thousand and I’d put my money on the fact that they all sound better than anything by Dre.

      • Derp

        You don’t say? If people want to pay a premium just to look cool and hang them around their necks then that’s their choice. You can get better sound quality for less. Example: ATH-M50.

      • Sherlock Holmes

        You obviously have no clue how serious audiophiles take their sound reproduction. Most own headphones that cost a lot more than Beats.

        • Wyveryx

          You sir are an imposter! :)

          • Sherlock Holmes

            Imposter? Never! :p

          • Wyveryx

            :)

      • Adrynalyne

        I’ll continue to enjoy my etymotics, which are just as expensive, yet better quality.

        • MK17

          In ear? I love mine with the “ear plug” insert

          • Adrynalyne

            Yeah, in-ear. I really enjoy the accuracy. I have to use foam though, because the flanges do not work for me. I cannot get a seal.

          • Sherlock Holmes

            I’ve never gotten used to the foam ones. They don’t ever seem to fit well. The seal on the other ones may not be as good but for me they’re a lot more comfortable.

    • jak_341

      No arguements. Beats
      are awful. I’ll take my Sennheisers any day of the week. I’ll even take my cheap $29.99 Sennheisers over a pair of Beats.

      • NexusMan

        Beats are absolutely NOT awful. So tired of hearing so many people blast them who have not spent any serious time with them. Beats has an extensive variety of headphone solutions for different purposes, and depending on what type of music you listen to and what purposes you have for your headphones, Beats can be an exceptional choice for you. No, they are not for everyone and every scenario, but specific models are actually a pretty fantastic option for some. And I can say this, not only because I know several people who own them, but I have actually spent time testing out every single model that they produce.

        • Hail corporate

          Beats PR Team Activated!

    • NexusMan

      Smartphones are an audiophile’s nightmare…your point?

      • Bender Bending Rodriguez

        Dumbest comment I’ve seen in a while.

        • NexusMan

          Funny, the comment you just left is the dumbest one I’ve seen in a while.

  • cvgordo

    only good business decision htc has made in the past 3 years.

  • Pakmann2k

    I haven’t actually heard one but in Beat’s defense, Kellex was really impressed with the Beats speakers in the HTC One.

    • epps720

      I’m pretty sure the speakers aren’t actually from Beats. I believe only the equalizer is from Beats. I have the One and it does sound great compared to other phones but it’s not better than a bluetooth speaker

      • Pakmann2k

        That’s one thing I envy though, not having to have a Bluetooth speaker with me. Hate it when you go to show someone a clip or video and you gotta do that stupid cup your hand thing so they can hear it.

  • mustbepbs

    This is great! I’m sick of all the shoehorned Beats crap in my phones.

    • Chris

      no one is forcing you to buy those phones.

      • mustbepbs

        I want the phone for the phone, not Beats.

        Nice comment.

        • Chris

          Well if you just want a phone then get this..

  • proVOCAL

    So can we please eliminate the incessant Beats™ notification on my HTC that shows up every time I listen to anything?

    • HTC

      Sure! Just buy one of the newest HTC devices!

  • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

    Great move by Beats. End the association with a loser brand.

    • Raj Bhatt

      I bet HTC had a lot to do with it. They need that cash right now.

    • Chris

      and join a brand thats sexist against woman?

  • yummy

    Not going to miss a Beat

  • fritzo2162

    So HTC just realized “Heeeyyy….this Beats thing is just a gimmick, isn’t it!”

    • NemaCystX

      not entirely, they are using it as a marketing tool to say “hey, this device has a better audio decoder and produces better sound” while many think its just an equalizer setting its not entirely that. I had the HTC One and the Moto X and the difference is noticeable over bluetooth as well as the speakers. I even compared it to audio over bluetooth and speakers with the Samsung Galaxy S3 (beats mod installed) and the S3 didn’t sound as good. Gimmick? maybe in a way but its a noticeable difference.

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    I think even Ray Charles could have seen this coming.

    • a) youth.in.asia

      And Stevie Wonder! Ohhhh laauuuuddddyyyy!

    • Yeah

      That’s an amazing feat for a dead guy!

    • KleenDroid

      I learned a lot from Ray Charles. He would take the hand of a potential lady friend and feel her wrist to see if it was “thick”. If it was think he knew she was a big momma and avoided her. This was a good lesson.

      Oh wait….. I can see if she is a big momma or not.

      • Bionic_Pags

        Amazing.

  • Open1Your1Eyes0

    Glad to see this finally come to an end. I could not respect HTC for partnering with an audio company that is all about “trendiness” over quality and all they are is basically Bass Boost and equalization. Maybe now they can search for another partner that has true quality audio.

    • Butters619

      I don’t think HTC ever really cared about audio quality when they entered the partnership.

      • Bender Bending Rodriguez

        I don’t care much about the headphone’s but people have got to admit that their boomsound speakers are no gimmick.

    • Wiggy Fifes

      How small are Cerwin Vega’s these days?

  • rutgersjaffo

    For those of us who really don’t care what athletes use, is beats by dre actually worth it?

    • fritzo2162

      It is if you like things overly bassy.

      • MK17

        Even so, they are still not worth it at all.

    • Kyle Cordiano

      Fritzo is right. Extra bass does not mean better quality.

    • GentlemanScholar

      Sennheiser and AKG make a more neutral, accurate sounding headphones that reproduces what the music producer or composer intended. I have a pair of Sennheiser Momentum’s (which admittedly aren’t their headphones with the flattest frequency response) and they sound better than the Beats headphones that I have.

      Beats headphones aren’t bad, but I wouldn’t buy or recommend them as they are simply made to be bass heavy. I received a pair after working on the original acquisition of Beats from HTC.

    • Shawn Spring

      While I’ve found that most of their products are exactly as the others have described, I love my Beats Mixrs. The overall sound profile isn’t as bass heavy as other models (Studios, Solo HDs, Pros) and the look…well, as I read somewhere else, if people want to spend $900 on a wallet or purse with an “LV” on it, and they can afford it, why not let them?

      I got the Pill as a birthday gift recently as well, and its versatility (use as a speakerphone, external audio for my N7 tablet as well as my iPod) makes it more than a good value.

      • rutgersjaffo

        Fwiw, I grabbed a BigJambox last year and absolutely love the thing.

    • Butters619

      Beast artificially inflates the high and lows and pulls the mids down, so what you end up with is muddied mids and distorted bass. If you want something flat and true then stay away from Beats. Even if you want something that can push the bass, there are so many headphones out there that can push some serious bass without sacrificing audio quality for a lot less money than Beats.

      • Derin Richardson

        Agreed. Scooping the midrange frequencies is good for metal, not for general music listening.

    • Pakmann2k

      I know there are a lot of haters against Beats but one of their headphones was the number 1 rated headphone on Consumer Reports. I really can’t refute the opinion of CR as they are generally spot on with things of that nature. There are many levels of Beats headphones and while all of them are overpriced, I don’t think all of them are “over bassy” crap. “Beats by Dre” is a brand and just like Sony, LG, Panasonic, and Samsung. They have a wide range of products, quality, and prices.

      You can’t judge Sony’s headphone line just because the $5 Sony earbuds from the grocery store sucked. Sony makes headphones from $5 – $1000 and the range in quality is huge. The difference between Sony and Beats is that Beat’s entry level phones ($99) are priced and poised like they are high end phones, they aren’t. That’s where too many people make their judgements on Beats overall. Their mid-high level studio phones ($299+) are actually highly rated and have excellent sound and comfort. Forgot which ones, but one of those is what received Consumer Reports award of best headphones for 2013.