HTC Invests $300M in Beats Electronics, Audio is a Priority for Future Smartphonesby Anand Lal Shimpi on August 10, 2011 11:07 PM EST
Earlier tonight HTC announced, via AllThingsD, that it would be investing $300M in Beats Electronics, LLC, creators of the famous Beats by Dr. Dre brand. Beats is still a privately held company so there's no indication exactly how much of the company will be in HTC's control, although Beats mentioned it would continue to operate independently of HTC and alongside current partners including HP.
It's unclear exactly how much Beats contributes to the audio path of products that carry its brand. HP's TouchPad with Beats Audio for example used a slightly more featured audio codec, limiting Beats' involvement to software alone. HTC likely hopes to gain audio street cred via the Beats brand rather than an unequaled technological advantage as competing companies should be able to implement similar DSPs/software should they desire to. That being said, we may also see some hardware changes in HTC phones. Perhaps a move away from Qualcomm's audio codecs and a move towards Wolfson?
The big news out of all of this is that all smartphone and tablet makers will be taking audio more seriously going forward. I wonder if $300M is enough to get HTC President Peter Chou (pictured above) an early copy of Detox?