The tie-up between HTC and Beats Electronics has been a curious one, and now it is coming to an end. HTC dumped $300 million into Beats by Dr. Dre back in 2011 and the company’s audio tuning technology was showcased on a number of HTC smartphones following the deal. Now that HTC has moved on to “BoomSound” technology, the company apparently has no need to be involved with Beats. HTC announced on Friday that it has sold its 26,100 Class B shares, which represented about 25% of Beats, back to Beats Electronics for roughly $265 million. The funds changed hands on Friday so the deal is done, and HTC confirmed that it now holds zero interest in Beats.
HTC’s (2498) upcoming Windows Pone 8 handsets will come integrated with Beats Audio, according to a report from The Verge. The first Windows 8 device to include the technology will be the HTC Accord, which will feature a Beats Audio branding similar to HTC’s Android-based One X and One S. The smartphone will also include a special Beats Audio application that will let users control the output on the handset. Earlier rumors have claimed that the Accord will be equipped with a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 pixel resolution HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. HTC is expected to announce its Windows Phone 8 devices at an event scheduled for the third week of September.. More →
Beats Electronics has finally acquired subscription music service MOG. “Beats was created as a response to the complete erosion of the music experience,” Beats' president and chief operating officer Luke Wood told USA Today. “Our whole reason for starting Beats was to try to bring emotion back into that experience. We believe music services is a vital part of that ecosystem.” MOG, which was founded in 2005, offers a music streaming service that competes with Spotify and Rhapsody. The company's library has more than 16 million songs available for free online and on a wide range of other devices for paying subscribers. Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC is the majority owner of Beats, and the deal could open the door for a subscription music service built right into the company's Sense user interface.
The first images of Verizon and HTC’s upcoming Incredible 4G were leaked on Wednesday. The images were published by Android Police, and they reveal a handful of previously unknown information. The Incredible 4G will reportedly feature a 4-inch qHD display, a dual-core Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera with zero shutter lag, a microSD slot and run Sense 4.0 atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The handset is also reportedly equipped with an NFC chip, LTE connectivity and Beats Audio. HTC’s upcoming device is said to be “very light” and it seems to resemble a cross between the HTC Rezound and HTC’s One series of smartphones. The blog’s sources suggested a price tag between $99.99 and $149.99 with a two-year agreement, though details regarding a possible launch date were revealed. Read on for two additional images. More →
Beats Audio, the company behind the popular Beats by Dr. Dre line of over-ear and in-hear headphones, is reportedly planning to acquire subscription music service MOG. The deal was first reported by Business Insider and then reaffirmed by AllThingsD on Tuesday. Founded in 2005, MOG is a service similar to Spotify, Rhapsody and Microsoft’s Zune. It makes use of a freemium model and allows subscribers to stream unlimited music to a computer, tablet or smartphone. At last count, MOG touted more than 500,000 active users. Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC is the majority owner of Beats Audio and if the reports pan out, it is possible that the subscription music service will be incorporated into HTC’s Sense suite of software and services. The terms of the deal have not been reported. More →
HTC has fallen from Android grace due to heavy competition from Motorola and Samsung, and the Taiwanese company promised to change by soon offering devices with thinner form factors and better battery life. Now, HTC and Jimmy Iovine of Beats Audio are rumored to be developing a streaming music service exclusively for HTC phones and tablets, according to GigaOM. The music service could launch at this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it may help make HTC devices more appealing to consumers. The company is still working on pricing plans, however, and other details for the new service. BGR exclusively reported this past November that HTC will unveil the Ville at MWC along side the company’s quad-core flagship HTC Endeavor. More →
Verizon Wireless has not one but three powerhouse 4G LTE smartphones lined up for the holidays, and the HTC Rezound is one of them. Launching right after the Motorola DROID RAZR, the HTC Rezound takes things to another dimension, both visually and sonically. With an amazing 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a fast 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Beats-enhanced audio and other competitive specs in a solid package, is the HTC Rezound the 4G smartphone to beat this holiday season? Read on to find out how this phone shapes up against the DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus.More →
We’re live from HTC’s New York City media event where HTC is expected to announce the HTC Rezound for Verizon Wireless. It’s the first smartphone that should come with Beats audio built-in, and in addition, the display is rumored to pack in a full 720p resolution screen, and run the latest version of HTC Sense for Android. There might be a surprise or two in store as well, so hit the break for all the live coverage. More →
HTC just took the wraps off the company’s latest device, the much-leaked HTC Sensation XL, also known by the code name “Runymede.” The specifications on the handset itself read much like the company’s HTC Titan Windows Phone device, and highlights include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor, 16GB of internal storage, a 4.7-inch display, HSPA, an 8-megapixel camera and more. The HTC Sensation XL is also white, matching the like-colored Beats headphones perfectly. This sleek Android phone is launching in Europe and Asia at the moment and U.S. availability is unknown, but we’ll keep you updated on that one. Full press release is after the break, and photos are in the gallery.More →
HTC unveiled its first Beats Audio-equipped smartphone in Taiwan on Wednesday, and the smartphone is packed to the brim with high-end specs. Beneath the 4.3-inch qHD display lies a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Android Gingerbread and a sizable 1,730 mAh battery to ensure the Beats tuning doesn’t compromise battery life. The device also ships with a pair of in-ear Beats By Dr. Dre headphones that include playback controls and a mic. “Audio is a crucial part of any consumer’s mobile experience and we are continually pushing the audio boundaries to encompass not only improved voice but music, movies and games,” said Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s president of global sales and marketing, in a statement. “The HTC Sensation XE offers a truly incredible experience that demonstrates our commitment to place consumers at the center of their mobile worlds.” Pricing and availability details are scarce but the phone will first launch in Europe and Asia later this month, and there is no word on U.S. availability. HTC’s full press release follows below. More →
Plenty of information on HTC’s first smartphone to offer Beats Audio technology, currently codenamed Runnymede, has been leaked but now the first press-quality images of the device have been posted by a Chinese retailer. The photo above clearly shows a Beats logo on the backside of the phone, which appears to be made of metal. The Runnymede could have similar specs to another leaked Beats phone, the HTC Vigor, and is expected to come equipped with a huge 4.7-inch WVGA Super LCD screen, 16GB or 32GB of storage, “SRS surround sound with acoustic performance tuned by Beats,” a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 processor, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p video, support for 14.4Mbps HSDPA networks and a 1.3-megapixel camera for video chats. The Runnymede is expected to ship with an HTC Beats Solo headset, too. Hopefully we’ll hear more about the package during HTC’s NYC press event on September 20th. More →
HTC just sent us an invitation for a press event that will be held in New York City on September 20th. We’re not sure what will be unveiled; the company already announced two new Windows Phone devices, the Titan and the Radar, but it is certainly possible we will hear more about U.S. versions of those phones. Perhaps HTC will unveil the Vigor, which is supposed to be one of the first devices to come equipped with Beats Audio and will be sold with a set of Beats headphones. Of course, given the close timing to Fashion Week and the “celebrate in style” tagline, it is also possible HTC will unveil the Bliss, a device that is rumored to be targeted at women. We’ll be reporting live so be sure to check back on the 20th for all of the details as they’re announced.
Earlier this month, HTC purchased a controlling stake in Beats Audio and a new phone called the Runnymede 2 could join the HTC Vigor as one of the first devices to offer Beats technology. According to a leaked spec sheet, the Runnymede 2 is equipped with a huge 4.7-inch WVGA Super LCD screen, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 processor, 16GB or 32GB of storage and “SRS surround sound with acoustic performance tuned by Beats.” It is also equipped with an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video, a 1.3-megapixel camera for video chats, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and support for 14.4Mbps HSDPA networks. According to the leaked specs, the Runnymede 2 will also come with a Beats Solo headset. Those headphones currently retail for about $179, so this certainly won’t be a cheap smartphone package. More →