Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is paying $309 million for a 51 percent share in Beats Electronics, maker of high-end headphones. Beats Electronics is well known for its partnership with music producer and rapper Dr. Dre.
The Beats deal is the fifth acquisition of HTC this year and it will allow the company to integrate its sound technology into HTC smartphones. Like other phone makers that use the Android OS, HTC is trying to differentiate its phones from competitors like Motorola and Samsung.
HTC said that it will release smartphones that incorporate the technology of Beats by the end of the year.
In an interview Beats Electronics chairman and music mogul Jimmy Iovine said, “We are going to be in business with HTC and they’re going to help us and were going to help them in every way they can. And you’ll see Beats audio in just about every phone or tablet they want it to be in, but they know what we’ve built and respect the brand and will help us continue to innovate and push Beats further.”Beats Electronics has an ongoing deal with Hewlett Packard (HP), which puts its technology into the HP TouchPad and PCs. HTC will have exclusive use of its technology for smartphones.
The latest figures reported by Gartner, a market research company, reveal that sales of smartphones increased to 107.7 million units in Q2, up 74 percent over the year. Android-powered smartphones has a 43.4 percent market share, up from last year’s 17.2 percent.