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

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.

The announcement was made by HTC CEO Peter Chou and Beats Chairman Jimmy Iovine during a press event in lo Angeles. “This partnership is based on a core belief that amazing audio is the key to mobile phone experience,” said Chou. “Our goal is to deliver high-quality music to smartphone owners. The music industry has to make music available in the places people want to listen to it.”

On the other hand, the Beats line is less prized by audiophiles for the high quality of its audio than it is for the hip -- and marketable -- brand image. 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. While Android translates into market share, the platform doesn't always deliver the sales or visibility that Apple gets from its mobile devices -- and HTC (like Samsung and the other major players) are desperate to take the next step and compete at the top level.

“We think this is a very good opportunity to continue to differentiate our products,” Chou said. "HTC has always been looking for ways to differentiate and create an emotional connection with consumers. We will integrate this technology into the phone. Not purely a headset, it will not just be a headset. It will be holistic."


James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at Adam-Kutner is a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney. He represents people who have been seriously injured in Nevada and the Las Vegas Area.