HTC’s relationship with Beats Audio sure started out so promising; smartphone audio performance had long gone under-appreciated, and positioning itself as the company to turn to for superior mobile audio really had the potential to drive HTC’s sales. Except, things didn’t quite work out as well as desired, and we’ve since seen HTC backing away from Beats, first dropping bundled headphones, and just this past month confirming plans to sell off its remaining shares in the company. Despite these setbacks, the Beats/HTC story isn’t quite over, and Beats has confirmed plans to be involved with the release of some future HTC hardware.
Beats president and COO Luke Wood recently talked about HTC in an interview, and while he couldn’t comment on where the relationship between the companies might end up in the future, he was clear that Beats still has a deal with HTC involving “several new devices coming out this fall.” While he doesn’t mention it by name, Wood’s description of a “a large-format HTC device” sure sounds like the One Max, so don’t be surprised to see that one launch with Beats intact.
Maybe this is just the last stuff in the Beats/HTC pipeline, and such devices will dry up once those are gone. Then again, Wood really seems enthusiastic about working with HTC, so it’s not inconceivable that we could see some sort of Beats presence continue, even without that big HTC investment.