HTC Invests for Better Audio

Posted on Friday, Aug 12 2011 on 12:00 AM

HTC has invested in Beats Electronics, a U.S. headphones company rap artist Dr. Dre helped found, as part of a move to improve the audio on the Taiwanese smartphone maker's devices.

The partnership, announced on Thursday, will lead to a line of HTC devices integrated with Beats "sound innovations," according to a statement from the company. The devices will be available this fall.


HTC will have exclusive rights among mobile phone companies to Beats' products, said Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen-A&M Records and co-founder of Beats, during a conference call to announce the deal.

Beats Electronics is a developer of high-end headphones, which claim to reproduce the sounds heard in professional recording studios. The company also helped build an audio system for Hewlett-Packard's ENVY laptop series.

HTC is investing $300 million for a majority stake in Beats, it said.

It said that after its investment, Beats will continue to operate autonomously, and maintain its partnerships with HP, Chrysler Group and Monster Cable Products.

The executives from HTC and Beats weren't specific about what they will sell. HTC CEO Peter Chou hinted that Beats has technology beyond headphone hardware that will make it into HTC phones. Through the partnership the companies will "work very closely together to make deep integration of Beats technology, software and hardware and the authentic user experience of HTC mobile phones," Chou said.

HTC may also benefit from Beats' experience as a consumer brand. "This partnership will also give HTC the opportunity to learn how the music industry, the Hollywood industry, do marketing," he said.


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