So when was the last time you bought a smartphone for its audio qualities? Never? Well, then it looks likely that you’ll never have to worry about HTC trying to sell you a device on that basis again.
The beleaguered Taiwanese manufacturer is apparently set for a permanent split from audio company Beats by Dre, which it bought a 50% stake in back in 2011.
According to The Wall Street Journal and its ubiquitous “people familiar with the matter”, Beats Electronics LLC is looking to buy itself back from HTC, having already regained a 25% stake last year.
All of HTC’s top of the line smartphones come with Beats technology, which it claims enhances the sound they offer. As The Verge reports though, HTC hasn’t managed to ride the surging success of Beats to profitability in its smartphone business.
While Beats is now a billion dollar company and apparently lays claim to around 59% of the US market, HTC has been in pretty consistent decline over the last few years. Dwindling profits and an increasingly small slice of the global smartphone market means that it’s probably not a brand that one of the world’s most successful rappers wants to be associated with.
White the split is unconfirmed at this stage, it doesn’t seem likely that HTC would be too fazed by the split either. At the very least, it would get a large portion of what it invested in Beats back. And that’s money it’ll need if it’s to keep making strange ads with Robert Downey Jr.