Two years ago, electronics manufacturer HTC acquired 25% of Beats Electronics, the audio equipment company founded by Dr. Dre. Since that time, most of HTC's smartphone lineup has been stocked with Beats-branded audio. Now that HTC is quickly losing smartphone market share, however, Beats is looking to cut ties with the smartphone maker.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Beats is looking to buy out HTC's shares of the company. According to the report's unnamed "people familiar with the matter," beats is also rumored to be speaking with a possible investor that could finance an expansion of Beats' product offerings. The company recently began branding speakers, car audio systems, and PCs.
While Beats has managed to corner the market on premium-priced headphones, the company is still looking for debt financing for its growth. Meanwhile, HTC has been left behind by the growth of the smartphone market over the past two years. While the company was once the best-selling Android smartphone brand in the U.S., it has since been surpassed by Samsung. The company doubled-down on the high-end smartphone market with its HTC One X and HTC One devices this past year. Though the phones were well-reviewed, sales of the devices failed to make a dent in Samsung's growing Galaxy smartphone empire.
HTC's current hopes lie with a strange billion-dollar advertising campaign starring Robert Downey, Jr.
(via The Wall Street Journal)