HTC surprised the investors this morning by announcing its second large investment in as many weeks. After $300M takeover of S3 Graphics, HTC is investing another $300M.
This time around, HTC plans to announce a 300 million U.S. Dollar investment into Beats by Dr. Dre, progressive audio peripheral company that captured a lot of market and mind share over the past couple of years.
While S3 Graphics was purely an IP deal, as the company holds a lot of patents in the graphics space which will enable HTC to countersue Apple and a lot of other companies, this investment is solely targeted in expanding the features of their smartphone lines and bring serious level of audio innovation into the field.
Under the investment deal, HTC will take over 51% of the company, which will remain autonomous, under the lead of Jimmy Iovine as Chairman and Luke Wood as President and CEO.
The cooperation between the two companies will result in a series of phones equipped with Beats by Dr. Dre audio technology, as well as branded series of phones that will carry premium audio experience, "catering to youth market and to audiophiles who want a superior audio experience while on the move."
One thing is certain: we have yet to see better bundled headphones than ones RIM offered on BlackBerry Bold 9000 and the original Torch, so we look forward towards seeing higher quality headphones. The author of these lines uses Desire HD, Sensation 4G and Tattoo and there is one common denominator among them – poor headsets (iPhones come with lower quality ones…). I replaced them with Ultimate Ears as soon as I started using HTC smartphones.