updated 08:45 pm EDT, Wed August 10, 2011
HTC big news limited to investment in Beats tech
Just hours after promising a "major" news event, HTC chief Peter Chou talked down expectations by revealing the plans ahead of time. The phone maker is investing $300 million into Beats Electronics' audio processing and will build it into future phones and tablets. One HTC device shipping this year would carry Beats audio, Chou said in an AllThingsD interview, without saying what.
The aim would be to improve mobile audio. Beats already provides its audio enhancement techniques for HP's desktops and notebooks, as well as the TouchPad, but has yet to dip into smartphones or otherwise support anyone else besides HP and Monster Cable. It was easier to find music on a phone, Chou said, but the listening itself was sub-par.
Interscope head Jimmy Iovine has repeatedly characterized Beats as a crusade to restore audio quality in the digital era, where compressed music files often clip some of the audio detail. Part of his approach has been not just the processing but to optimize the sound itself through headphones like the Beats Pro.
The news of an HTC tie-in with Beats may nonetheless prove disappointing. With the short notice and attempt to drum up the perceived importance of the deal, many had guessed it might be a settlement with Apple after the ITC loss or a major acquisition, either by HTC or from another company acquiring HTC itself.