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Beats is building its own smartphone, TV and iTunes-killer to compete directly with Apple

August 29th, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Beats making smartphone, TV and iTunes service

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s company has really taken off since launching the original Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. BGR has learned that while music is still at the core of Beats, the company is about to make some aggressive expansions into categories currently dominated by consumer electronics giants. First off, after HTC (2498) invested $300 million in Beats — which was a terrible idea — and then sold back half its stake — which was a less terrible idea — Beats is ready to make its own smartphone.

We have learned from a trusted source that while HTC will manufacture the handset, there will be no HTC branding on this device and it will run Android with a custom UI designed exclusively for Beats smartphones. This “will be a truly Beats phone,” our source said.

A smartphone is just the beginning, however. Beats is also apparently set on launching a TV, though the company understands the low margins are in the TV market and will be partnering with a manufacturer like Samsung (005930) to introduce a “TV with Beats connect.” The purpose, we’re told, is to make a push to create an Apple-like experience that extends from a phone to a TV to a tablet to a laptop, much in the same way Apple (AAPL) does with Apple TV, AirPlay and iTunes.

Here is where this gets incredibly interesting, though. In addition to a smartphone and a TV set, our source has informed us that Beats is creating an iTunes-like service code-named Daisy, and it will also feature a subscription-based model for music streaming.

Beats By Dr. Dre did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Samsung and HTC also declined to comment.

Beats wants to own the entire experience, and you can bet that the company won’t have an issue getting record labels on board. The concept is to utilize low-power technology like a WiGig chip to be able to share all of your content on all of your Beats devices with each other, without additional boxes or components.

We’ll have more on Beats’s internal plans in the coming days.

Jonathan Geller is the founder of Boy Genius Report, now known as BGR, and one of the biggest tech & mobile destinations in the world.

BGR was acquired by leading digital media company PMC in April 2010 and Jonathan is President and Editor-in-chief of BGR Media, LLC. Jonathan was named to Forbes' coveted 30 under 30 list in 2016, and frequently appears as a commentator on news channels such as CNBC, Fox News, ABC News and Bloomberg.

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