Apple, one of the biggest and most popular computing and technology companies in the world, confirmed late in May that they have purchased Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion dollars. Both Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the co-founders of Beats, will be joining Apple as a part of the deal. Iovine had this to say about the sale: “I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple. The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.”
What this means long term for Beats and the Apple tech we already know and love is unclear. Beats is primarily known for its huge sales in headphones, apparently adding up to about $1 billion last year alone. Despite the fact that the company has only been around for six years, Beats Electronics completely dominates in the high-end headphones market. Although any information beyond the fact that the purchase happened is pure speculation, we wouldn’t be surprised at all if some of the Beats technology was incorporated into future Apple products.
Another big part of this deal is the fact that Beats launched its own Spotify competitor earlier in the year in the form of Beats Music. Apple hasn’t had much success in the streaming music market, and this probably sweetened the deal even more. Spotify is still the biggest music streaming service, but with Beats now being part of Apple, it may prove to be serious competition really soon.
Beats Headphones have been criticized in the past for being merely fashion statements with middle-of-the-road sound quality, unlike similarly priced headphones like Bose. Being that Apple is known for blending excellent technology with aesthetic, this deal may actually lead to improved quality of the product itself for Beats Headphones. With the style already such a huge part of the marketing of the Beats brand, Apple could potentially tweak things to make Beats headphones competitive on a quality level in addition to the excellent aesthetic; eventually, they could convince audiophiles as well as trendsetters to use their products.
Apple has purchased smaller companies before, but none have come close to the notability of Beats Electronics. Anyone with an interest in technology will be watching what happens as Apple and Beats move forward after the deal that makes Dr. Dre the first billionaire rapper.