HTC brings Beats by Dr. Dre aboard its smartphone operation. The official story is that HTC wants high quality sound, but many are saying that it's more like a celebrity endorsement.

Smartphone manufacturer HTC has invested $309 million in a deal with Beats by Dr. Dre, taking a majority share (albeit just barely, at 51 percent) of the so-called "high-end" headphone and speaker manufacturer.

On the other hand, the Beats line is less prized by audiophiles for the quality of its audio than it is by marketers for the hip brand image -- and this may be exactly what HTC has in mind.

The Taiwan-based smartphone company has been acquiring a number of companies this year, attempting to carve a unique brand image in a market that features a number of other mobile devices that use Google's Android operating system.


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