Six years ago Apple dropped $3 billion on its largest acquisition ever to acquire Beats Electronics. Music mogul Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop legend Dr. Dre built the consumer electronics brand into a household name, and Beats-branded headphones were flying off the shelves.
Apple could tell. It sold Beats headphones and speakers in Apple Stores so the success of Beats was no secret. Beats also had a months-old streaming music service that Apple used to build Apple Music, but it’s clear in retrospect that Apple also saw continued value in Beats as a hardware brand.
That’s why it may come as a surprise to see reports that Apple plans to phase out the Beats brand in the future.
9to5Mac can report that this is not a strategy that Apple plans to pursue. The strategy is not one that should be viewed as being on the table for Apple, 9to5Mac has learned.
Apple has invested in the Beats hardware division since acquiring the company in 2014. Beats hardware released new products with Apple technology integrated starting in 2016 with Powerbeats3, Beats Solo 3, and BeatsX. Each product shared technology used inside the newly unveiled AirPods.
More recently, Beats has released all-new designs for products that meet different consumer needs than Apple-branded headphones. Powerbeats Pro have much longer battery life than AirPods Pro, and the new Powerbeats add even more battery at a lower price.
Beats Solo Pro were unveiled before and released on the same day as AirPods Pro in 2019. Both products include Apple’s H1 chip, noise cancellation for the first time in AirPods and Beats on-ear headphones, and the new Transparency feature for letting environmental sound pass through during use.
Beats hardware also falls in the category of Wearables for Apple, a category that has seen continued growth recently and is projected to continue climbing. Beats is also closely aligned with professional musicians and athletes who have marketing deals with the brand.
Questions remain about the future of new Apple over-ear headphones and an update to Beats Studio3. Beats on-ear headphones include Apple’s W1 chip and were last updated in 2017.
One thing is certain however. The Beats brand remains alive and well with continued investment and shared technology from Apple, and there are no plans to mess up a good thing.
Beats is a profitable hardware company and there are a segment of customers who buy the Beats brand precisely because they don’t want to be associated with AirPods/Apple. https://t.co/lkqW5As4Ta
— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) April 7, 2020