Beats' Jimmy Iovine said to be important to new marketing efforts
Apple may be on the verge of completely separating from its long-time ad partner, TBWA's Media Arts Lab, says the New York Post. Citing industry rumors, the paper suggests that Apple's entire external advertising account is "up for grabs," and that Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine -- soon to become an executive at Apple, following Beats' acquisition -- will also be used to help revive Apple marketing efforts. "Apple bought Beats for a lot of reasons," comments one anonymous ad agency executive. "They think they're marketing geniuses. It is safe to assume Beats would be part of an assessment of all [Apple] partners."
Case could be worth billions of dollars
Speaker and headphone maker Beats -- currently undergoing an acquisition by Apple -- has filed a lawsuit against a collection of Chinese counterfeiters, asking for billions of dollars in damages. "This action has been filed by Beats to combat online counterfeiters who trade upon Beats' reputation and goodwill by selling and/or offering for sale unlicensed and counterfeit products featuring Beats' trademarks," the complaint reads. "The Defendants create [fake Internet storefronts] by the hundreds or even thousands and design them to appear to be selling genuine Beats products, while actually selling low-quality Counterfeit Beats Products to unknowing consumers."
Could ask for concessions if deal thought to be too anti-competitive
Antitrust regulators with the European Commission will rule by July 30 whether or not Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats can go ahead as planned, according to Reuters. The Commission has several options available: it can authorize the deal as signed, or ask for concessions -- such as divestiture -- if it's determined that the buyout would give Apple too much industry control. In a worst-case scenario, the Commission could launch an investigation that might even scuttle the acquisition.
Scosche announces smartBox retractable charge and sync cable for Lightning, micro USB devices
Electronic accessories company Scosche has announced the availability of its new dual syncing cable, the smartBox. Composed of a two-in-one setup, the retractable charge and sync cable can connect to devices with Lighting or micro USB devices. The cable can extend outwards up to three feet, and its sliding adapters allows for the switch between Lighting and micro USB connectivity. Priced at $25, the Scosche smartBox is available for purchase online.
Fitness-oriented Bluetooth audio
Apple-owned Beats has announced a new edition of its Powerbeats earbuds, the Powerbeats2 Wireless. The buds connect to any Bluetooth-capable device, and are said to have been designed with help from NBA player LeBron James. They're consequentially more fitness-oriented, with rubberized hooks to keep them in place while walking or running.
Basketball star, Samsung pitchman owns fractional share of Beats
Unbeknowst to many, another minority-stake owner in Beats Electronics may be seeing a healthy payday when the Apple acquisition of the headphone, accessory and music service company goes through: basketball star and Samsung pitchman LeBron James. The Miami Heat star struck a deal back in 2008 to acquire a small stake in Beats in exchange for promoting its high-end headphones, ESPN reports, and could see a profit of more than $30 million in cash and stock according to sources.
Music mogul relies heavily on gut instinct, highly opinionated, shuns publicity
The Wall Street Journal on Friday published a profile of hip-hop artist and producer Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre -- whose company, Beats Electronics, has been sold to Apple for $3 billion, pending regulatory approval. The article paints Young as an obsessive, thoughtful talent who relies heavily on taste and instinct rather than market research, with one colleague describing the 49-year-old as a "cultural barometer" of what is in vogue, with great development skills and strong intuition.
Spokesperson puts story in doubt
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has left his position at Beats as chief creative officer, according to USA Today. The paper also suggests that one of the company's technology executives, Fredric Vinna, recently left for Spotify, while co-founder Ola Sars has gone to an unspecified Spotify-backed venture. A spokesperson representing Beats and Reznor insists that the report is inaccurate, but without mentioning which parts.
Amount for Music may actually be in excess of service's value
In Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats, $2.5 billion of that went towards the hardware division, while just $500 million was for Beats Music, according to the Wall Street Journal. Beats Music is a relatively new streaming service, having only launched in January.
Pair of new headphones feature larger dynamic range than predecessors
Recent Apple acquisition Beats has announced a pair of new headphones, both with a more dynamic, wider range of sound than previous releases. Unveiled today is a refresh of the Solo headphone -- the Solo2, and a collaboration with design firm Snarkitecture, the Snarkitecture X Beats.
Claims best products in 25 years due in 2014
Speaking yesterday at the Code Conference, Apple's senior VP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue -- joined by Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine -- offered an explanation of the company's $3 billion buyout of Beats, and also discussed Apple's upcoming product pipeline. He noted that a deal for Beats and/or the people behind it has been in development for a decade, and that together the two companies should be able to speed up products that are being kept secret.
Apple EarPods provide a great listening experience at small cost
The ink hasn't even dried on Apple's acquisition of Beats and Dr Dre (Andre Young) and Jimmy Iovine, both newly anointed executives at Apple have already made a public gaffe a piece. Firstly, we saw Dr Dre quaffing Heineken beer and bragging about the deal before it was made official. Then just late yesterday, in an interview with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference, Jimmy Iovine publicly criticized Apple's pre-packaged headphones (its EarPods) as being for little more than "to see if the sound [on the device] works." While it might have been a casual off-handed quip, it wouldn't have amused the team responsible for developing Apple's EarPods. Nor is it something you would ever expect hear coming from an Apple executive, indicating that this union may take a little while to become fully settled.
Notes that Beats' music service got subscription 'right'
In a memo to employees following Apple's $3 billion acquisition of Beats Music and Beats Electronics, CEO Tim Cook has described the purchase as a way to "make our incredible iTunes lineup even better, extending the emotional connection our customers have with music." He also made note of the fact that Apple felt the way Beats music, while a fledgling service, had handled the concept of subscriptions, calling it "just right."
Beats co-founders to take unannounced Apple jobs
Following weeks of rumors, Apple has confirmed plans to buy Beats Electronics in a deal worth $3 billion. That figure includes an upfront payout of $2.6 billion, and a remaining $400 million that will vest over time. The purchase includes Beats' hardware and streaming music divisions, and co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (Andre Young) will join Apple in unspecified job roles.
Deal could be announced by end of week
Apple has lowered its asking price for Beats Electronics to $3 billion, but is in a position to announce a deal by the end of the week, according to sources for the New York Post. The original $3.2 billion figure is said to have been touted prematurely. "Apple hadn't even begun its due diligence process when news of the number came out," one source is quoted as saying.
Source says Apple after talent, cultural cachet still happening, but was close to disintegrating
Apple is indeed still planning to buy Beats Electronics, according to unnamed sources, but the deal has allegedly almost fallen apart several times. The person claims that there is a "70 percent certainty" the buyout will happen. Notably, the person claims that Apple isn't after Beats Music, speakers, or headphones, but rather talent and cultural cachet. "[Apple] wants Jimmy [Iovine] and they want [Dr.] Dre," the person says. "[Iovine]'s got fashion and culture completely locked up."
David Hyman fired to avoid compensation payments, lawsuit alleges
The founder of MOG, the music subscription service that was to become Beats Music, has sued Beats Electronics over a loss of earnings. David Hyman claims he was fired from the company before he was able to earn shares in the company, with the situation exacerbated by the anticipated acquisition of Beats by Apple for an estimated $3.2 billion.
Signing may have to wait for next week
Apple's anticipated buyout of Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion may not be finalized until sometime next week, sources say. It was initially expected that the deal would be done by Friday. It's not clear what the source of the delay might be.
Takeover by Apple apparently technology-oriented
Beats Music recorded having just 110,992 subscribers in March, according to a leaked royalty report obtained by The Guardian. The service launched in the US in January, but by March had managed only 49,371 individual accounts and 61,621 family accounts. Since family accounts cover up to five people that may imply many more listeners, but AT&T has also been offering 90-day free trials of the service, which could potentially make the number of paying subscribers extremely low.
Iovine could assume control of music strategy, licensing
Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre could be announced as joining Apple leadership at this year's Worldwide Developers' Conference in June, sources tell Billboard. Apple is reportedly buying Beats for $3.2 billion, but hasn't confirmed a deal yet, much less elaborated on plans. One of the Billboard sources says that Iovine will likely watch over Apple's general music strategy, and handle relationships with labels and publishers. Iovine is a well-known producer, and has had to deal with rights owners in order to set up Beats Music.
Beats' Jimmy Iovine seen on Apple campus
Apple took an interest in buying Beats Electronics because of Beats Music, according to a Bloomberg source claimed to be familiar with acquisition talks. Beats Music launched just earlier this year, but Apple executives are said to have been impressed by Beats' ability to convert people into paying subscribers. That could imply that Apple wants to improve iTunes Radio by upgrading its design and/or introducing more subscription options. The closest thing to an iTunes Radio subscription is iTunes Match, which removes ads from Radio but is intended mainly as a way of backing up a personal library and streaming it anywhere.
Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics gives it what it needs right now
A lot of eyebrows were raised when rumors of Apple's purported acquisition of Beats Electronics surfaced over the past few days. Until now, Apple is a company that has been known for making relatively small, targeted, acquisitions that have often eventually found their way into shipping Apple-engineered products as technological enhancements giving it a competitive edge. With around $150 billion in cash and liquid assets, all eyes have been on Apple for some time, waiting to see what it might splash out some of that cash on. No one outside of Apple could see the acquisition of Beats Electronics coming, and certainly not for what seems a somewhat hefty $3.2 billion.
Co-founder Jimmy Iovine could become advisor to Apple's Tim Cook
Two new reports appear to support the notion that Apple is interested in buying Beats Electronics. The New York Post says that Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine is in talks for a "special advisor" position at Apple, making him counsel for CEO Tim Cook on "creative matters." Iovine could theoretically take the position without an Apple buyout of Beats, but an acquisition would make the position more likely.
Addition teased only yesterday
Beats Music has launched a new version of its iOS client, 2.0. While not bringing many fundamental changes, the update is the first to include a native iPad interface, better taking advantage of the tablet's screen space. The interface readjusts based on whether an iPad is in portrait or landscape mode.
Beats Music app update adds in-software subscription
Beats Music's streaming service app for iOS has received an update. Users can now subscribe to the streaming service from within the app, meaning that once the trial period is over, the transition to paid service is that much easier. Also included is the ability to find Facebook friends who use Beats, improved social network linking, and new tracks in the Sentence playlist generator. The Beat Music app can be downloaded from the iTunes Store.
Spotify competitor offers curated playlists, Sentence-based music discovery
The Dr Dre-owned Spotify competitor Beats Music has gone live in the United States, with the app appearing in the App Store. The long-awaited streaming music offering launch also signals the future closure of the MOG service, shuttering on April 15th, though it appears that MOG subscribers will not get directly migrated over to Beats Music.
Beats Music streaming service to launch next month
Beats Music, the streaming music site spun out from the maker of the popular premium headphones, will make its debut in January of next year, it was revealed on Wednesday. The site for the service has gone live, and users can now register a user name for when it goes live next year. The particulars of Beats' new music offering are as yet unknown, but the company will likely reveal them in the weeks leading up to its unveiling.
Larger version of Pill portable speaker gets tested at FCC
A new speaker from Beats has been spotted going through certification at the FCC, one that appears to be a more stationary model. The filing for the Beats Pill XL reveals a larger version of the company's portable speaker, suggesting that the company may be celebrating its break-up from HTC by preparing to sell an upscaled model in the near future.
Carlyle Group moves in as new investor
As expected, Beats Electronics has split from its partnership with HTC. The latter company has announced that it has sold back its 25 percent stake in Dr. Dre's audio brand, after dumping its controlling stake last year. The latest stock buyback is valued at $265 million.
Report claims Beats Electronics plans buyback of remaining shares from HTC
The producer of the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line could be forcing out HTC as an investor and replacing it with another in the future, according to a report. Beats Electronics is said to be looking to buy back the remaining 25-percent ownership stake controlled by HTC, a move similar to one performed by the company last year after allegations of HTC failing to meet certain contractual obligations.
Beats gives its popular Studio line a complete redesign
Beats has unveiled a completely redesigned set of Studio headphones. In addition to giving the exterior a new look, Beats says it has also built in its Acoustic Engine digital signal processing to enhance the audio experience without the need for special hardware. The new headphones are also 13 percent lighter than the superseded model, while also making them more compact and portable.
UK retail leaks price and imminent release date
Sightings of a Beats-branded Bluetooth wireless speaker have been reported at both the FCC and a UK retailer. The Beats by Dr. Dre Pill has passed through the FCC, with mention of its Bluetooth capabilities, while the online store for HMV put up a listing for the speaker, before quickly removing it from existence.
Beats Solo or Harman Kardon headphones, which is best?
Music is one of the more popular forms of entertainment, and in recent times there has been a renewed emphasis on audio quality. A number of recording artists have been vocal in criticizing the compression of modern music with the advent of the iPod age in particular. Worse, the default headphones sold with many devices hardly makes matters any better and greater numbers of listeners are looking to get the best sound that they can afford. Beats by Dr Dre have become the dominant headphone brand on the market, while Harman Kardon have only just entered the lucrative headphone space. So which is the better choice?
HTC's own upheaval caused phone maker to miss commitments
Following yesterday's news of Beats Audio buying back shares from HTC, sources today claim that the buyback occurred due to HTC not fulfilling certain of its contractual obligations. Persons familiar with the matter tell CNet that HTC's own troubles kept the company from meeting its financial commitments to Beats, leading Beats to buy back half of the shares it had sold to the Taiwanese phone maker.
HTC still largest shareholder, but Beats to seek more flexibility
Beats Audio will buy back half of the shares Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC owns in the company. The buyback was announced yesterday in a press release from the audio accessory maker. It's been just under a year since HTC bought 50 percent of Beats, but the new development will see Beats striking out more on its own going forward.
Beats will take streaming service, leave blog
Beats recently-announced acquisition of music streaming service MOG cost the music peripheral company $14 million. The deal was announced yesterday, and it was apparently negotiated in part by phone maker HTC, which owns a portion of Beats. The deal will see parts of MOG coming under direct control of Beats, while other aspects of the company will remain relatively autonomous.
Beats agrees to terms to buyout MOG music
Beats Electronics has announced that it has completed its long rumored acquisition of MOG music, reports USA Today. Terms of the deal have not been made public, although negotiations were known to have started as far back as March. Beats, which is part owned by HTC and forms an integral part of their smartphone lineup, plans on making the MOG music experience part of its end-to-end music experience.
Financial terms unavailable
The long-rumored acquisition of digital music service MOG by Beats may have been finalized and could be announced in the near future. A source familiar with the workings of the deal has told CNet that the deal has indeed gone through. Despite the news, particulars in the acquisition have yet to be revealed.
ColorWare offers $1,000 versions of Beats by Dre
ColorWare has begun shipping the ColorWare Collection, which are three iridescent-colored Illusion Beats Studio by Dre headphones. The customized Monster phones will only be available for a limited time, though the company isn't saying how long exactly. The chameleon-like effect will shift colors depending on the angle from which they are viewed.
HP dm1 gets fashion designer treatment
HP has ended a lull in its love of fashion-inspired PCs with the quiet introduction of a special Pavilion dm1 by Alexandre Herchcovitch. The variant on HP's crossover 11.6-inch notebook is covered inside and out by a gold pattern from its namesake Brazilian fashion designer. A matching sleeve case should keep the notebook safe.
HTC says Beats will be software only
HTC in an interview Friday said it won't pack in Beats Audio's earbuds or other headphones with at least some of its smartphones from now on. Product executive Martin Fichter briefed CNET that, while the on-device Beats Audio processing would stay, ordinary headphones at most would come in the box with models like the Evo 4G LTE and One series. Customers weren't buying for the headphones and thus didn't justify the extra cost.
Beats said buying MOG on HTC's behalf
Beats Audio's increasingly corroborated acquisition of MOG is now thought by sources to have not only been completed but ultimately a shell operation. The anonymous insiders near MOG told GigaOM that MOG had sold for just under $12 million. Although Beats made the purchase itself, it was HTC funding the deal, according to claims.
Beats would take MOG as part of own strategy
Beats Audio's rumored acquisition of MOG could be less about HTC and more about its own brand. Leaks have it planning to open a full web music store, CNET had heard, but it would also sell headphones and "numerous other products." While the deal wouldn't be wrapped, MOG would serve as a quick route to getting a service up and running.
HTC and Beats may expand music strategy
Beats Audio's rumored takeover of MOG could be the foundation of a very different approach by HTC to reviving its cloud music aims. A rumor emerging Tuesday had unnamed Digitimes sources anticipating an HTC service launching in the second half of 2012, with partly-owned Beats handling the brunt of the service. Unlike the one-time HTC Listen service, it would be a "cross-platform, cross-device" option.
HTC One V may up ante for budget phones
The HTC One V may be coming to Virgin Mobile's US branch. Tips to PocketNow early this week had the aluminum unibody Android 4.0 phone coming to the carrier in late spring. It would cost under $200 off-contract on Virgin, making it not just Virgin's most advanced smartphone but also one of its more affordable models.
Beats may get MOG for own music streaming
Partly HTC-owned Beats Audio was rumored Monday to have bought MOG. A single source for Business Insider claimed a quiet deal had been struck last week with no mention of terms. While unverified, MOG was unusually non-committal on whether or not it had been acquired, saying only that it was open to deals.
AT&T To beging carrying Beats audio gear soon
AT&T on Monday revealed it will exclusively offer the Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox Portable on March 11. The wireless audio system connects to smartphones through Bluetooth or, with iPhones and iPods, directly through an Apple Dock Connector. A 3.5mm audio input handles older phones or other audio sources.
Beats Audio gets unofficial port
A new project has brought the Beats Audio app to non-HTC smartphones. The XDA-Developers port gives users a flashable ZIP file that lets users get the usually bass-heavy equalizer. It should work on any Android version and many devices, although a special version exists for Galaxy S II owners.
HTC Android 4.0 tablet to be just 9mm think
An upcoming tablet from HTC, now codenamed Vertex and previously known as Quattro, is in the news again, with a test photo taken from its built-in camera and shared online by Notebook Italia. While the photo does little in terms of new info, it is accompanied by an admittedly unconfirmed 9mm (0.35in) thickness.
HTC may have streaming music and Bluetooth boombox
HTC could get into its own proper music service and more if sources are accurate. Beats co-creator and Interscope-Geffen-A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine was said by GigaOM's contacts to be working with HTC on a streaming music service that would be built-in with each phone and tablet. Details of how it would behave weren't yet ready, but it was being crafted as an anti-Spotify service to avoid giving the incumbent too much of an "iTunes-like" edge.