HTC strikes exclusive deal for Beats Audio smartphones, we wonder why it's not HP
We’ll be honest, we’re fans of the work HTC’s managed over the past few years. It might be a series of black-fronted slabs with the occasional horizontal slider or 3D camera, but overall they’re solid and impressive devices. It’s the kind of stuff we want from HP, and it’s a bar we hope phones like the HP Pre3 will be able to reach. But HTC may have made that a touch more difficult with today’s pre-announcement: they’ve secured an exclusive deal with Beats Audio for HTC smartphones, and it rings in at $300 million.
The Beats Audio deal is likely the reason behind tomorrow’s conference call, though HTC CEO Peter Chou will have nothing of those sort of deadlines. He revealed to AllThingsD that HTC has signed an exclusive deal with Beats to include the audio tech in HTC’s upcoming smartphones. What that means is that HTC’s smartphones will likely sound better out of all speakers and the headphone jack, much as the HP TouchPad actually sounds pretty decent from its stereo speakers, but even better when hooked up to a good stereo system.
HP and Beats go way back. HP’s had Beats-enabled laptops for some time and the TouchPad was a natural extension of that relationship. We’re actually quite surprised to see Beats shacking up exclusively with HTC for smartphones, and quite disappointed that we’re not going to see any Beats-powered webOS smartphones any time in the near future. HP’s got the scale, but at the same time, $300 million is quite the investment to make for just audio. HP’s likely learned a lot from their experience with the Beats crew that they’ll be able to supply enhanced audio in future devices even without the lauded Beats branding. webOS has the potential to be a media powerhouse – all it needs is the hardware to back it up.