HTC set to abandon bundling Beats headphones with smartphones

HTC to abandon bundling Beats headphones with smartphones
No Beats headphones with the forthcoming HTC One X

HTC is unlikely to bundle future smartphones with expensive Beats headphones.

The Taiwanese manufacturer acquired a majority stake in Beats headphones for $300m (around £190m) last year.

It soon began including headphones and integrating Beats audio technology within handsets like the Sensation XL and Rezound.

However, HTC seems to have has concluded that, regardless of how good the headphones on offer, consumers aren't necessarily influenced when it comes to buying smartphones.

HTC product executive Martin Fichter told CNET: "An accessory like the headphone doesn't factor in when someone is buying a smartphone. If they want a Beats headphone, they'll buy it directly."

What's the plan now then?

It was thought that HTC's decision to shell-out a fortune on a 51 per cent share of the company made famous by the fashionable over-ear Dr Dre Monster Beats cans, was part of a bigger plan.

The company had begun to include Beats technology within its handsets, including the new HTC One S, in a bid to improve the underwhelming sound quality on an overwhelming number of Android smartphones.

It had even been reported that the company was plotting to buy or launch its own Spotify-like subscription music service to be part of its HTC Sense ecosystem.

Perhaps those things will still come to fruition, but with HTC's profits way down on last year, it's understandable that it would steer away from giving away expensive headphones, when it makes little difference to sales.


Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.