Beats buys back 25% of its shares from HTC
Last year when HTC bought a stake in Beats everyone imagined that HTC would integrate some audio chops into its Android smartphones and build an ecosystem of accessories for it. While, to some extent this has been true, things have not exactly panned out as HTC wanted and keeping in with the flow trends Beats has bought back 25 percent of its stake from HTC.
The new arrangement lends Beats more flexibility for global expansion while at the same time it maintains mobile exclusivity towards HTC’s portfolio. While the official representatives may tow the line of the press release, the fact of the matter is that the Beats software stack in HTC devices has not added much value to smartphones itself.
Even we have witnessed this in our reviews of HTC smartphones, as the Beats equalizer module comes off as an glorified bass boost eq for the music. Additionally, till HTC Sense 4.0 came with the 2012 ‘One’ series of smartphones, the Beats technology could not be tapped in by third party audio apps as HTC had not offered an API.
Another area where this partnership is faltering is that through Beats, HTC has not really built an array of custom audio accessories for its Android smartphones, something that Apple does very well without even having a stake in a premium audio brand.