Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

HTC Cuts Back Beats Investment

A year after putting $300 million into audio company Beats Electronics, best known for its high-end headphones, HTC has had a change of heart. The smartphone maker has sold back half its stake in Beats for $150 million, but will still own 25 percent of the company.

An HTC press release asserts that “over the last year, HTC and Beats have made great progress in sound innovation, product integration and brand awareness with successes like the HTC One,” but doesn’t explain the decision to reduce its stake.

HTC will retain exclusive rights to use Beats audio technology with its handsets (the company has a separate deal with Hewlett-Packard for laptops); the two companies are supposed to launch a “global marketing campaign” later this year.

This month, Beats announced a $14 million deal to acquire streaming music service MOG.

HTC says it expects to lose $4.9 million on its Beats investment, based on the headphone company’s current book value.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus