Print 34 comment(s) - last by superflex.. on Aug 20 at 10:38 AM

Jimmy Iovine, Peter Chou, and Dr. Dre
HTC is sinking, and Beats wants out

As HTC continues to sink, Beats Electronics is looking to bail and possibly search for other investors. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that Beat Electronics LLC -- the audio products company founded by rapper Dr. Dre -- wants to buy out HTC in their smartphone venture.

In August 2011, HTC acquired a majority stake at 50.1 percent in Beats Electronics for $300 million USD. The venture aimed to help HTC gain market share from Samsung and Apple smartphones, and help Beats enter the smartphone market. 

However, in mid-2012, HTC was forced to sell back half of its stake in Beats due to a huge decline in revenue and profits. This resulted in a net loss of $4.8 million for HTC.

Today, things don't look much better for the Taiwanese gadget maker. According to The Wall Street Journal, HTC's sales have fallen below $4 billion since Q4 2011. The company also predicts its first operating loss this quarter. 

For Q2 2013, which was reported last month, HTC took in $70.7 billion TWD ($2.35 billion USD) for the quarter -- which fell below analyst expectations of $72.8 billion TWD ($2.42 billion USD). Profit was at $1.25 billion TWD ($41.5 million USD), which fell short of the $2.17 billion TWD ($72 million USD) analysts expected

Recognizing that HTC is a sinking ship, Beats is reportedly looking for a buyout and may look for other investors so that it can keep its foot in the smartphone market. 

There's no word on whether HTC is willing to sell the rest of its stake, but HTC may want to hold onto Beats, as this is one of its draws in smartphone sales. 

HTC has tried to turn its business around with the release of new smartphones like the HTC One, which grabbed 5 million sales in its first month of availability despite issues. It's even planning a 5.9-inch HTC One Max.

Last month, HTC went through an executive shake up in hopes of making a fix, where President of Global Sales Jason Mackenzie was chosen to lead HTC America, and President of North America Mike Woodward was chosen to lead Emerging Devices, a new business unit that will focus on innovative new HTC products and global distribution strategies.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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RE: Who cares?
By inperfectdarkness on 8/19/2013 1:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Beats isn't that great of a brand to begin with; but if they really wanted to help themselves out, severing ties with Monster would be a great start. HTC is small potatoes.

Beats is brand image, nothing more. It's primarily purchased by the same people who buy into brands like FUBU, Phat Farm, Ecko. It's way overpriced & utter crap; essentially Apple for headphones. It's something someone buys to say "look at me", not because he/she has discriminating taste.

If you want high-quality headphones at a decent price, try Sennheiser HD400 series & bass-mod them. I have HD439's ($60 refurb)--and I'd recommend them to anyone.

RE: Who cares?
By xti on 8/19/2013 2:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
Beats is many moons more mainstream in the headphone market than Ecko is in the clothing side...

Super overpriced and underpeform, yes, but I think everyone saying "product x is much better/cheaper" doesn't get the big picture.

RE: Who cares?
By stm1185 on 8/19/2013 3:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
You guys are missing the point. I have an HTC phone, it came with Beats headphones. They are not the best, not worth the $100 Bestbuy would sell them for, but they are far far better then the junk you get in the box from Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony...

HTC in this area was ahead of the curve by providing superior out of the box audio. HTC losing that advantage, one of the very few they have had, is going to hasten their demise.

RE: Who cares?
By tng on 8/19/2013 3:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the little earbuds from Apple...

I remember that those things would not fit my ears and hence had horrible sound.

Then I saw the commercials for the new design that comes with the IP5 and tried those. They are right, much better design, someone actually thought about it. Unfortunately, they are that smooth white plastic and they will not stay in your ear if you are moving which makes them completely worthless.

RE: Who cares?
By seraphim1982 on 8/19/2013 4:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
How is that any different from Apple?
Marketing and Brand image does WONDERS!

RE: Who cares?
By Xplorer4x4 on 8/19/2013 5:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
Awhile back I tried 2 sets of Beats Cans in Target. They were like $200 or so I believe. Funny thing is I tried the $50 Sony cans laying next to them, and the difference was amazing. The Beats did not sound any where near as good! I got a set of IEMs from Shure. Now I get very good sound out of ear bud sized cans.

RE: Who cares?
By superflex on 8/20/2013 10:38:31 AM , Rating: 2
Still rocking my Shure E3's from 2005. Bought a box of the foam inserts and will never go back.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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