The partnership between HTC and Beats Audio may have soured after the headphone-maker bought back a 25 per cent stake in the company.

It's almost a year since HTC invested $300m for what was thought to be a 50 per cent stake in the company, but Beats says re-acquiring 25 per cent of the shares will give it more flexibility going forward.

The 'realignment of the business agreement' gives Beats a 75 per cent share while HTC is left with a quarter of the company.

New accord

The new accord "provides Beats with more flexibility for global expansion while maintaining HTC's major stake and commercial exclusivity in mobile," according to joint release.

HTC's willingness to scale back its investment in Beats may be a further indication of the struggles currently engulfing the former Android kingpin.

Sales and profits are well down as it looks to bounce back from an awful 2011 in which it fell to the rise of Samsung and other Android manufacturers.

Continue to work closely

The press release also adds: "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. HTC and Beats will continue to work closely, including a joint global marketing campaign later this year."

Basically this means we'll still be seeing Beats tech (although no more bundled headphones) within HTC's musically-themed smartphones like the recent HTC One S

Meanwhile Beats will have more freedom to pursue its own endeavours without the Taiwanese company interfering too much.

Via: Engadget