HTC Abandoning Plans to Bundle Phones With Beats Headphones
Back in August of last year, HTC announced a major investment it was making into headphone manufacturer Beats, snatching-up fifty-one percent of the company for something like $300 million. Since then, HTC has been heavily promoting the Beats connection with its new phones, selling them with Beats earbuds included and outfitted with custom Beats equalizer software. It seemed like a bit of a gamble, positioning itself as the smartphone company that cared about music, and now it’s looking like it might not be paying off in the way HTC hoped; company exec Martin Fichter recently spoke with CNET, explaining that the company is going to put a stop to bundling its phones with Beats audio products.
Fichter tells a tale of failure on multiple fronts. According to him, customers just didn’t end up caring what headphones came with a handset, and made their purchasing decisions based on the phone itself. Beyond that, the phones which HTC did bundle with Beats audio gear failed to sell at the levels the company was hoping for.
From the sound of it, though, HTC isn’t giving up on Beats altogether, and will continue to use Beats software on its phones, as well as looking into integrating some Beats hardware ideas. As far as Beats headphones or earbuds go, it looks like you’ll have to pick those up on your own dime.