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Apple Reportedly Buying Beats Electronics For $3.2 Billion

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the making-it-rain dept.

Businesses 198

An anonymous reader writes "Multiple publications report that Apple is undertaking its biggest acquisition ever, buying Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. The deal would give Apple control over the popular 'Beats by Dre' headphones as well as a new music streaming service. Analysts suggest the headphones will open up a new series of product lines for Apple, while the streaming service will jumpstart its efforts to compete with Pandora and Spotify, as iTunes' growth slows. 'If Apple wanted to, it could certainly have built a streaming subscription service itself; the company had been floating the notion of one with label executives in recent months. But it's possible that Apple's most recent attempts to extend its music business beyond the iTunes store helped convince Cook that he was better off getting outside help.' The deal hasn't been completed yet, but a candid video of Dr. Dre was posted to Facebook in which he appeared to confirm it."

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Overpriced snake oil salesmen (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958147)

Make a good match for each other.

Re:Overpriced snake oil salesmen (5, Funny)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#46958155)

The can buy Monster cables next.

Re:Overpriced snake oil salesmen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958267)

The can buy Monster cables next.

then they can import a bunch of black slaves and sow the seeds of future ghettos and identity politics by the democrats

Re:Overpriced snake oil salesmen (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46958297)

Haven't you ever watched Frankenstein? Nothing good ever comes of mixing lighting and monsters...

Re:Overpriced snake oil salesmen (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#46959231)

But if the monsters stay in the darkness, won't you have a much harder time trying to dodge them?

Re:Overpriced snake oil salesmen (4, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46959189)

Right. I continue to be baffled by people that will buy crappy headphones with some random musicians name on them and think they'll in any way sound good.

In speakers, size matters. Yes, you can get big crappy sounding speakers. But the one thing you'll never get small good sounding speakers. Laws of physics and all. This is also why Bose sucks and have been conning guys that watch infomercials for decades.

If you want affordable, good sounding speakers, you have to build them yourself. Get one of versions of these:
https://sites.google.com/site/... [google.com]

They don't have a huge amount of bass, but I'm betting they will be the best speaker most slashdotters have ever heard. And you can put them together with wood glue, scotch tape and a soldering iron.

Re:Overpriced snake oil salesmen (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46959547)

One, admittedly limited, blip in the 'size matters' relationship is fully sealed in-ear "canalphone" type headphones. They tend not to be terribly comfortable; but they effectively create a sealed tube, and a small one, with your eardrum on one end, the speaker cone on the other, and a tiny amount of air with nowhere to go in between.

Under those circumstances, a fairly teeny driver can beat up on your eardrum quite convincingly indeed, a great deal more effectively than a driver of similar size running in free air or partially free air conditions could.

Re:Overpriced snake oil salesmen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46959483)

http://gizmodo.com/5981823/beat-by-dre-the-inside-story-of-how-monster-lost-the-world
Beats basically ripped off the original from Monster, I doubt they have innovated anything else technically since.

3.2 B (5, Insightful)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#46958167)

For overpriced technically inferior headphones to listen to compressed to hell music.

Wake me when apple gets a quality pair of headphones and at least cd quality loss-less without DRM.

Re:3.2 B (4, Informative)

JenovaSynthesis (528503) | about 5 months ago | (#46958235)

Amen! I finally had a chance to listen to music using Beats. To be fair I gave it a minute or two of listening and came to the conclusion the Sennheiser headphones I bought from Best Buy were much better and 75% cheaper.

Re:3.2 B (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46958319)

If you think that 256 kbps AAC is "compressed to hell" you probably have a place at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters as some sort of bat-themed superhero.

Re:3.2 B (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#46958347)

Different meaning. In audio circles, compression is a technique used during mastering to make the sound louder without inducing clipping artifacts by selectively amplifying the quieter portions of the audio.

Re:3.2 B (4, Informative)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 5 months ago | (#46958605)

loudness war [wikipedia.org] ftw!

Re:3.2 B (5, Interesting)

carou (88501) | about 5 months ago | (#46958849)

Different meaning. In audio circles, compression is a technique used during mastering to make the sound louder without inducing clipping artifacts by selectively amplifying the quieter portions of the audio.

You're right about the ambiguity of the phrase "compressed to hell", but since the GGP then stated talking about "at least cd quality loss-less" I think he really was talking about the lossy file-size compression.

To the GGP: Try testing yourself at mp3ornot.com if you think you can hear the difference.

Re:3.2 B (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#46959025)

mp3ornet tests if you can hear the difference between 128 and 320 not lossy and lossless. They do not specify what the source was to start out with either. I was talking about lossy vs lossless, the pop music that is compressed to hell I put as a choice by the sound engineer. Consider that you can get 24 bit 96k audio even in 5.1 and 7.1 uncompressed or loss-less why buy an inferior product it's not like storage or bandwidth are an issue for audio.

Are you the guy that is ok with compressed to hell cable TV because your TV / eyesight does not let you tell the difference? I want a quality product, not the bare minimum people will accept.

Re:3.2 B (1, Informative)

seven of five (578993) | about 5 months ago | (#46958363)

Bit rate != compression ratio. You can use 256kbps to carry well-engineered sound or over-compressed pop crap. The bits don't care.

Re:3.2 B (1)

telchine (719345) | about 5 months ago | (#46958445)

[quote]You can use 256kbps to carry well-engineered sound or over-compressed pop crap. The bits don't care.[/quote]

Yeah, but if you use "clear-o-shine" and polish it into the surface of the bits then the audio quality will be far superior! /me ducks and runs for cover

Re:3.2 B (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about 5 months ago | (#46958911)

yeah, bring back the small black patches you attach to your equipment to make it sound better, and oxygen free cables that only work in one direction.

The Dre stuff is about a lifestyle, a lifestyle that does not include musical appreciation it seems from the shit reproduction quality of the headphones. They look quite nice though.

Reminds me of when ghetto blasters changed from portable boxes that could play music to funfair theme ride decorated light boxes, funny as heck.

Keeps the youth entertained though and boy have they got purchasing power these days. Bored suburban youths love aping the product that Dre and similar market to them. Disaffected poor people are just what rich suburban youth want to pretend they are. Its hilariously funny. I am sure Mr Dre works very hard providing his fans with the product they want and richly deserves his 3 billion payout from Apple.

Apple though are dorks and will never pull off keeping this brand surely. It would be like replacing the interface paradigm that has worked for the last thirty years with one that suits third world farmers on low resolution cheap phones. Oh a big tech company already did that.

Maybe your next Apple product will randomly invite the entire population of earth to your house for a party. All television channels from now on will be devoted to watching the resulting carnage. It will be great!

Re:3.2 B (1)

sh00z (206503) | about 5 months ago | (#46959497)

yeah, bring back the small black patches you attach to your equipment to make it sound better, and oxygen free cables that only work in one direction.

And how do you use a green marker on MP3/AAC files?

Re:3.2 B (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958703)

Good thing you understood what they were referring to when they said "Compression" before posting, right?

Read the wiki link on "loudness wars".

Re:3.2 B (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46958327)

Look on the bright side! if Apple starts pushing 'Beats' headphones, odds are good that the number of assholes wandering around in public with their cellphone's shitty little speaker emitting a tinny (but surprisingly loud and penetrating) generic crunk rap noise, like some lilliputan boombox from hell, should be reduced by at least 30% as those same people decide that horrendously inferior headphones are now cooler than inflicting their taste on everyone in the vicinity!

Re:3.2 B (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#46958905)

My favorite is the cell phone speaker and it tucked into there baseball cap.

Re:3.2 B (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958331)

For overpriced technically inferior headphones to listen to compressed to hell music.

#1: Consider their target market, and their ability to even ascertain quality after exposing the entire generation to "premium" ear buds/pods for years.

Wake me when apple gets a quality pair of headphones and at least cd quality loss-less without DRM.

#2: After considering #1, let me know when the hell Apple should give a rats ass about providing anything more than what they do today.

95% of the time the quality of the recording was fucked before Apple ever touched it. It's kind of what happens when the guy with a masters degree in recording and mastering is replaced by DJ Fuzzy Fucktard and his sidekick, Autotoon, rollin' in to master mix the shizit outta anythang...

Re:3.2 B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958441)

"... DJ Fuzzy Fucktard and his sidekick, Autotoon"

LOL, I'm going to use that!

Re:3.2 B (3, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 5 months ago | (#46958513)

It's kind of what happens when the guy with a masters degree in recording and mastering is replaced by DJ Fuzzy Fucktard and his sidekick, Autotoon, rollin' in to master mix the shizit outta anythang...

There are a lot of well-trained veteran engineers with good ears who have stated that they feel forced to jack the levels up, because that is what the record label demands, and if you go with your audiophile instincts instead of what the label demands, you find yourself out of work.

Re:3.2 B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958765)

Ah jah, ze good old "I was just following orders".

Re:3.2 B (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958813)

Yes. That's how you keep your job.

If your job isn't killing people, and instead it is manufacturing entertainment for the consumption of the masses, "I was just following orders" is a fine excuse.

Re:3.2 B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46959291)

Murdering culture isn't a crime, I suppose.

Re:3.2 B (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#46959039)

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Re: 3.2 B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958343)

Right, because you have such keen ears that you can discern the difference. Congratulations, you are a neckbeard.

Re: 3.2 B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958527)

It doesn't take a lot of skill to recognize the lack of dynamic range.

all it takes is a pair of headphones designed with audio quality, not visual showmanship, in mind. Doesn't even have to be an expensive pair. you can get quality out of $60 headphones today that would have amazed people as little as a decade ago.

Mix that with a volume setting that isn't "HOLY SHIT MY EARS OW OW OW!" loud, and you can easily hear the difference in dynamic range compression between recordings made in the 80s and (early) 90s, and the recordings made after that.

Hell run replaygain on a rip of a CD from the 80s or 90s and see the average adjustment be something like -4dbl for them, and run it on something made today and see -11dbl be the average.

Re: 3.2 B (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#46959051)

It doesn't even require that level of sophistication. Within a mix, if you aren't using some kind of normalization, older music often just sounds quieter and requires increasing the level.

Re:3.2 B (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958377)

Wake me when apple gets a quality pair of headphones and at least cd quality loss-less without DRM.

Why? This is perfectly in line with the rest of Apples products.

If you want quality products that aren't overpriced there are other brands already available.

Re:3.2 B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958561)

For overpriced technically inferior headphones to listen to compressed to hell music.

That sounds like a perfect fit for technically inferior overpriced apple products with fake security that spy on you and report everything back to apple.

Re:3.2 B (2)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 5 months ago | (#46958695)

That sounds like a perfect fit for technically inferior "free" (goog | fb) products with fake security that spy on you and report everything back to (goog | fb) .

ftfy

Re:3.2 B (2)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | about 5 months ago | (#46958889)

DRM? Last time I bought an album on iTunes (last Dream Theater album), I could easily extract mp3 320kbps version from all it and do whatever I want with the files. Quality? 320kbps. Enough for my non-monitors headphones.

The horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958171)

Oh no, not Apple! They overcharge for all of their products. I bet now we'll have to pay $50 for a pair of stylish earbuds! Wait... carry on.

Beats sound like garbage (5, Informative)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 5 months ago | (#46958189)

Artificially-inflated bass crap. Do yourself a favor a get yourself a pair of real studio reference headphones like the venerable Sony MDR-7509s [sony.com] (for a lot less money too) if you want to hear what your music really sounds like. There's a reason that studios around the globe use these and not fuckin' Beats. Beats are a fashion accessory, not a critical listening device.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46958281)

In fairness to 'Beats Audio', and the good 'Dr.' Dre, the 'Beats' brand is so shamelessly pimped that it even makes it onto products that aren't capable of artificially inflated bass. HP put out a 7 inch tablet [amazon.com] allegedly with the sonic goodness of Beats, and something that size wouldn't know what 'bass' is, much less produce any, unless its battery exploded.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (1)

Megane (129182) | about 5 months ago | (#46958443)

Beats isn't just headphones. [beatsmusic.com] And that's probably what Apple was really after. Now they can stream with artificially inflated bass!

Re:Beats sound like garbage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958549)

No my guess is they are after the word 'beats' as a brand name.

Apple sells computers. So do many others. They differentiate themselves by putting on a thin coat of 'better'.

This is not buying a hardware partner out to get better prices. This is to get the name 'beats'.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (3, Funny)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#46959059)

Apple and beats? Sounds like a badly conceived pie.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (1)

mishehu (712452) | about 5 months ago | (#46958711)

Now with more cowbell! *clang* *clang* *clang*

Re:Beats sound like garbage (4, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 5 months ago | (#46959153)

Hey, easy there. They must be good. They were developed by a Dr.

Pardon me while I put on my Doc Martens to go get a Dr. Pepper.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about 5 months ago | (#46959479)

I really don't know what they are touting, but the HP Touchpad that died at birth, had beats audio. It has surprising good quality speaker sound for a tablet. I am guessing that may be a portion of what they bought.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46958335)

Reference audio isn't for everyone, and can be a bit flat when you have a lot of background noise. I'd suggest something like £20 on a pair of nice Sennheiser PX100s. Entry level price, but pleasingly and enthusiastically overcooked sound.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (2)

CRCulver (715279) | about 5 months ago | (#46958485)

For home audiophile headphones at an affordable price, I've been pretty happy with my AKG K701 [amazon.com] . Maybe it's just prejudice, but I'd much rather go with a company that has a reputation for doing one thing (decent headphones) and doing it well, as opposed to Sony whose headphone offerings include plenty of bottom-end Chinese-contracted crap.

However, while reference headphones are good for listening at home in a quiet environment, they aren't so good for walking around, when is when a lot of people consume their music these days. I couldn't walk down the street wearing my AKG K701 headphones, it would look bloody ridiculous, as they are very bulky, and besides they offer no protection against ambient noise. Beats may have comparatively bad sound quality, but they have a form factor that makes them fashionable when you are on the go, and they protect from ambient noise somewhat more. (You can also get those same mobile advantages with better sound quality with some cheaper entries in the AKG and Sennheiser catalogues.)

Re:Beats sound like garbage (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 5 months ago | (#46959115)

For home audiophile headphones at an affordable price, I've been pretty happy with my AKG K701 [amazon.com] . Maybe it's just prejudice, but I'd much rather go with a company that has a reputation for doing one thing (decent headphones) and doing it well, as opposed to Sony whose headphone offerings include plenty of bottom-end Chinese-contracted crap.

The Sony MDR's are highly regarded in pro audio circles. I hate Sony-the-company with a vengeance, but I have a pair of ancient MDR-V900s that are incredible. I've used them for tracking, monitoring, live sound (where they really shine, because they lock out a LOT of external noise), and occasional mix reference. They were recommended to me by a person who tracks some of the biggest Belgian rock bands, and runs live sound at festivals of up to 60.000 people.

Downside: they fit so well around the ear that they aren't very comfortable for long periods of time (hot, sweaty ears), they are a professional, specialist tool. My day-to-day portable music headphones are Pioneer in-ears - where it doesn't really matter all that much because I want to *hear* what's going on around me when I'm hiking/jogging/commuting, so my audiophile experience is severely compromised anyway. When I'm really listening to music, I do it on speakers (Adam A5x).

Re:Beats sound like garbage (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#46959539)

I couldn't walk down the street wearing my AKG K701 headphones, it would look bloody ridiculous

just like beats!

your music sucks, and you're stoooopid (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 5 months ago | (#46958539)

Idiocracy [wikipedia.org] is real, there's a page documenting this on Wikipedia.

Exactly like what happened when we got cable news channels, with 24-hour coverage allowing us to delve more deeply into the important issues of the day.
fsck, my sarcasm meter just broke.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958637)

First: studio headphones are optimized for different environments than consumer headphones. This often includes sensitivity and impedance designed for professional audio levels and drivers, something that standard consumer electronics commonly will not drive properly. Try driving a 600 ohm headphone with 90dB/mW sensitivity on a common smartphone.

Second: studio headphones aren't designed to listen to _music_, they are designed for listening to _sound_. It may be a surprise to many so called "audiophiles" and other elitists that that isn't the same thing - a sound engineer have to be able to hear things clearly in order to adjust mixing and levels for the desired result. Real people listening to real music doesn't need this level of analytic detail and often don't want it. That's the reason one can buy headphones optimized for different listeners and genres - some want a balanced sound, some want voices to be somewhat clearer and many want bass to enhanced. This also includes the "audiophile" gear BTW, not that the fanatics would ever admit to that.

Third: studio headphones are most of the time overpriced for consumer uses. This is partly because the manufacturers can price them higher given the target market and partly because they are designed to tolerate abuse. Also they often are looking quite shitty.

That said Beats are at least generally overpriced shit. There are many better alternatives for much less, just go to "non-audiophile" forums and learn.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958879)

First: studio headphones are optimized for different environments than consumer headphones. This often includes sensitivity and impedance designed for professional audio levels and drivers, something that standard consumer electronics commonly will not drive properly. Try driving a 600 ohm headphone with 90dB/mW sensitivity on a common smartphone.

I can get acceptable volume out of my 600 ohm Beyerdynamic DT880s plugged into my Iphone 5c. I'm not saying it's optimal (usually use Alessandro MS1s or Sennheiser PX200), but it's quite listenable.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46959137)

I have found that even though studio cans are designed for a flat response, they are less fatiguing than listening to whatever is on a consumer shelf.

Audiophile stuff can get expensive... sometimes more expensive than the studio products. For example, a set of monitors I have with a subwoofer that have a flat response are notably cheaper than an "audiophile" set that seems to be sold on how it looks than actual response. In fact, a lot of "audiophile" speakers don't even have a frequency response chart, while all monitors come with it. Of course, the monitors can "go to 11" just like other speakers if the need arises.

As for "phat bass", if someone is desperate for that, there is always EQ and boosting.

Re:Beats sound like garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958725)

Beats are a fashion accessory, not a critical listening device.

Like Apple products?

Re:Beats sound like garbage (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 5 months ago | (#46958763)

Beats are a fashion accessory, not a critical listening device.

That's what confuses me about this - Apple is sure to like fashion accessories, but people buy it for the brand, so how likely would they change if they became iHeadphones. I don't know if Apple makes headphones already, so this might be just them trying to get that market.

By the way, studio headphones are great when you need to hear the details of audio like when you're mixing sound, but they don't necessarily give the best listening experience. Sometimes headphones or a good sound system can improve a song.

Of all good headphones out there, THESE?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958199)

I can't recall hearing anything as bad as the Beats. They wouldn't even sound bad if they had cost half of what they do. Pick up any low-budget $20 AKGs and you will have many times better sound.

Long way from Compton (5, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 months ago | (#46958219)

Dre's gonna be the first hip-hop billionaire.

Re:Long way from Compton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958321)

Dre's gonna be the first hip-hop billionaire.

if he wants to be smarter than the notirious B.I.G. and 2Pac then here's a tip: once you make your millions, get the fuck out of the ghetto. how hard to understand is that?

Re:Long way from Compton (2)

Kenja (541830) | about 5 months ago | (#46959411)

Now he can finally afford to go back to school and finish his doctorate. No more living a lie!

Good fit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958221)

2 fashion companies disguised as electronics companies.

Re:Good fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958287)

On the Apple account I call BS on your trolling. Come on, be sensible, they do excellent computers, no matter how allergic you are to "fashion" or not.

Re:Good fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958567)

Apple's computers ceased to be their primary product a decade ago.

Selling stylish "in-thing" electronic fashion accessories took over in the mid 2000s.

Samsung makes Refrigerators. Did you know that? Damn good ones too actually. Doesn't make them a "kitchen appliance" company.

Re:Good fit (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 months ago | (#46958907)

In general iPods, iPhones, and iPads are also better-than-average quality, with some famous exceptions.

Re:Good fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46959037)

This is true, but they are not sold to their target audience based on their quality, they're sold based on their brand name and trendiness. You cannot deny this, and Apple is very aware of this. They court this type of attention very much on purpose.

There are not 4 block lines outside of apple stores the night before a new product release because the hardware quality is higher than average.

Re:Good fit (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 months ago | (#46959469)

That's true, but I can hardly blame them. So long as the product is decent, what do I care? I'm just glad that people are buying nicer stuff - it forces the whole market to up the quality game. It's not just Apple - remember how many nicer flip phones became available got once Motorola showed that people would pay a little extra for the Razor? And of course look at how Toyota and Honda changed the small car game. Prius is now doing the same for hybrids, and perhaps Tesla for electrics.

Re:Good fit (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | about 5 months ago | (#46959225)

Great if your looking for something held together with glue and having limited expansion capability.

Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958237)

Now not only will Apple earbuds tangle like a squid attempting to hang christmas lights while being chased through a yarn factory by kittens, they'll sound like shit, too.

Thing Thugs Will Beat You For (5, Funny)

drainbramage (588291) | about 5 months ago | (#46958253)

"Thing Thugs Will Beat You For" for $200 Alex.
---
1> Apple products are the what the thugs want around here, most only threaten or beat you, some use hand guns.
2> Those beats headphones got popular and are now being targeted by thugs.
3> Apple see's another market for repeat (re-beat?) customers.
4> Profit!

Re:Thing Thugs Will Beat You For (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958417)

Look, little girl: maybe you should move someplace safe.

Re:Thing Thugs Will Beat You For (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46959293)

Yeah, if you can't stand the heat owning a pair of Bizeets headphones move out da hood, bro! lol! Ya gotta be hard ta wear deeze.

Apple is finally red (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958301)

Maybe Apple is just looking to add a little color to their lineup. Beats, official headphone of sports millionaires everywhere.

So Apple will have two marketing departments now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958359)

Wonder how they will decide to merge their marketing departments? After all, that is the heart of both companies.

Re:So Apple will have two marketing departments no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46959349)

Thunderdome. All weapons crafted from 100% bullshit.

Waste of money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958367)

Ghetto headphones used by thugs and "gangsta" wannabes now owned by maker of tech gear for the 1% hipsters. BSD and old THinkPads never looked so good.

Just goes to show... (4, Informative)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 5 months ago | (#46958371)

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

-H.L. Mencken (paraphrased)

Re:Just goes to show... (1, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#46958663)

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Which is why most smartphones run Android. No denyin' I ain't lyin'

That was what you meant, right Sparky?

Re:Just goes to show... (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 5 months ago | (#46958961)

Which is why most smartphones run Android.

What, an operating system that exists solely to gather data for the largest player in the advertising world? :p

OG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958373)

"Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baaaaabay!
Apple loc'ed out G, so we craaaaazay!
Apple be the label that pay me!"

Slump and hump? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958385)

Someone pulling a reverse pump and dump by planting a crazy story...

Forget About Dre? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958413)

Yes, Dre. You will FINALLY afford to provide your family with groceries.

Ho please!

Oh come on! (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#46958505)

"Ok, sign here...and here...and...here. Well, Congratulations! You bought yourself a 3 billion dollar company!"

"Thanks! Ok, where's the girl?"

"Pardon me?"

"The girl. That Emilly Ratsomehing"

"Sir, she is a supermodel and did not get sold as part of the deal."

"WHERE'S MY ACCOUNTANT?!?!?"

Re:Oh come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958569)

You realize your user name is misspelled?

how much is a name worth? (3, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 months ago | (#46958507)

Because thats all Beats has ever been. The problem apple faces is that Dr. Dre is fast becoming Dr. Grey. in his last 5-10 years hes only made small guest vocal appearances on the behalf of his label members. his most famous songs, 'nuthin but a g thang' for example came out 20 years ago. so while the turtlenecks running apple might remember him from their kegger days in college it has yet to be seen if anyone born after 2000 will even care. Beats in cellular technology and tablets is powered, from what i can guess, by Cowon (a taiwanese manufacturer of high regard for their sound chips and DSP at a very competitive price.) The headphone line originally came from Monster Cable, but now is cranked off the same assembly in mainland china that produces most every other headphone in existence.

FWIW, If i were apple, i would have marketed a competing brand based on someone like Deadmau5 or Skrillex or Knife Party or any other band actual kids listen to. As an added benefit, these artists already heavily plug and leverage Apple as a brand.

Re:how much is a name worth? (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 5 months ago | (#46958615)

I always assumed that, in making a studio monitor-looking headphone, Beats was using Dr. Dre's name not for his artist reputation, but for his producer reputation. In recent years, Dr. Dre has produced a number of records even if his own hip-hop albums have slacked off. So, Dr. Dre is to Beats what Quincy Jones is to AKG.

Re:how much is a name worth? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 months ago | (#46958975)

Beats also owns rights to a lot of music for streaming. That's probably the killer part of the deal.

Re:how much is a name worth? (3, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 5 months ago | (#46959325)

Hey man, when you dis Dre you just dis yourself.

Don't understand it. (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 months ago | (#46958535)

I don't understand this deal yet, but my problem isn't with Beats headphones being a "rip off". That's not the issue for me. The larger issue for me is, I don't see why Apple couldn't have simply produced their own rip-off headphones if they wanted to, or their own music streaming service. They have the technical ability. They have the design and marketing talent. So what are they getting out of the deal?

I would imagine that this is either a waste of money, or there's some other calculation. Like maybe record labels have been trying to bend Apple over a barrel when they ask for streaming rights, and in this deal, Apple acquires the streaming rights that Beats had, thereby side-stepping the deal. Or maybe Apple looked at the organization and thought it was a good team as a whole, and rather than trying to steal the employees away one-by-one, they thought it was better to purchase them outright. There's always the explanation that they were buying the customer base, but I'm not sure that'll hold once they rebrand and integrate-- and I would be surprised if they didn't rebrand and integrate it into their existing products/services.

I don't know. Does anyone have info here that would shed light on the real motivation? Or has Apple just started buying random businesses because they're profitable, without a larger strategic plan?

Re:Don't understand it. (4, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | about 5 months ago | (#46958691)

So what are they getting out of the deal?

An existing very well recognized brand, existing supply chains and contracts for producing "premium" headphones, and existing streaming service with deals with all major record labels and many independent labels.

Could Apple have reached the same point cheaper if they did it all themselves? Probably. Would it have been as fast? No.

Re:Don't understand it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958877)

I don't understand this deal yet, but my problem isn't with Beats headphones being a "rip off". That's not the issue for me. The larger issue for me is, I don't see why Apple couldn't have simply produced their own rip-off headphones if they wanted to, or their own music streaming service. They have the technical ability. They have the design and marketing talent. So what are they getting out of the deal?

If Apple did that, they would lose a lot of credibility in the lawsuits with Samsung.

Re:Don't understand it. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46959117)

Buzzfeed, (The Beats Audio of blogspam) has a great article on how it's about hiring Jimmy Iovine.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/peterlauria/apples-beats-deal-is-all-about-bringing-music-mogul-jimmy-io

"As part of the $3.2 billion deal to acquire Beats, legendary music executive Jimmy Iovine is expected to join Apple in a “creative role.” The deal is essentially the biggest music industry acqui-hire."

Also here:

http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/08/beats-jimmy-iovine-join-apple/

"Beats Electronics boss and veteran music industry executive Jimmy Iovine is in talks to join Apple as a “special adviser” to Tim Cook on creative matters, two sources close to talks tell The Post."

Brand (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 5 months ago | (#46959159)

They get a trendy well established brand name. They get the Dr. Dre. They get the perceived quality (200$ headphones? rly?). They get to reinforce their dominance as a music production company (ipods, iphones).

Is it worth 3+ BILLION? Hell no! However A) Beats is pretty uniquely placed right now. They are at their peak and no one is like them. B) News! Tech company overpays for another company! OMG! When you have a bazillion dollars, you likely have to prove as a CEO you are doing something with it other than polishing your boat with it.

Re:Don't understand it. (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 5 months ago | (#46959201)

It sounds like Beats has streaming music deals. I'm speculating here, but the record labels aren't happy about how iTunes worked out for them. Read the Steve Jobs bio and you'll find that they were over a barrel and Apple took advantage of that. I suspect the labels were trying to get their pound of flesh back from Apple with streaming contracts. Perhaps Apple went around the labels and is buying less expensive streaming deals via Beats, depending on how long the term is on those Beats contracts with the labels.

Re:Don't understand it. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46959267)

I don't understand this deal yet, but my problem isn't with Beats headphones being a "rip off". That's not the issue for me. The larger issue for me is, I don't see why Apple couldn't have simply produced their own rip-off headphones if they wanted to, or their own music streaming service. They have the technical ability. They have the design and marketing talent. So what are they getting out of the deal?

Apple doesn't develop tech from scratch, they buy it in or just buy the company that makes it, and then add their own design on top. They bought the company that makes their ARM CPUs. They bought in the click wheel and 1.8" hard drives for the iPod. They use off-the-shelf radios in their phones. Their PCs are based on standard hardware but come in a fancy case.

Apple does design and software. When they need hardware, they buy it. They obviously want Beats audio hardware. To me the interesting question is why choose Beats. They sound terrible. Generally Apple likes to pick good hardware and put the marketing spin on themselves, but in this case they chose crap hardware which is already hyped to hell.

Just want the Brand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46958591)

Apple could care less how good or bad these headphones are.

Beats captured the market with enormously good branding. Now that they've got the stranglehold, Apple is listening (no pun intended).

Innovation? No, marketing.. (2)

h8sg8s (559966) | about 5 months ago | (#46958925)

Innovative marketing move. Expect a set of Apple-branded cans with builtin iPod/WiFi and voice control. Not rocket science.

So what? (1)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | about 5 months ago | (#46959071)

Where is your God now, Samsung?

Should be very interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46959093)

Apple doesn't seem to be the type of company to make all the peripherals when they can just license Made for iPod/iPhone and rake in money that way. Buying Beats products would be so far outside their typical business, it would seem weird.
Now if Apple is just going to license technology from Beats (more likely, but still seems a bit weird), Apple has been one company that never puts others logos/stickers on their products, whereas Beats has been all about plastering their logo on anything they touch.

The whole scenario smells of a stock price inflation for Beats. My money is on nothing happening with this.

Most of their headphones are crap. (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 5 months ago | (#46959183)

The Dr. Dre headphones are crap. They have a plastic headband that will crack at random intervals of use. The executive ones have a metal band but it takes disposable batteries and only work when you have the noise cancelling turned on.

If Apple does buy them, they should replace the plastic bands on the other models with metal with leather cushion like what you find on the Executive. For the price they share, they should not break during normal use within a year.

I had a pair of Dr. Dre Wireless break on me after a 4 months of normal use after returning from a business trip to DC. The headband snapped on me.

Does This Mean Apple Will Spam My Blog? (1)

Nova Express (100383) | about 5 months ago | (#46959241)

There was a time when I got more Beats By Dre comment spam on my blog than any other single spam subject...

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