Yesterday, Apple announced that it acquired Beats Electronics for $3 billion, consisting of $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million that will vest over time. The acquisition will end several third-party partnerships that the headphones manufacturer has with other companies, including HP.
Hewlett-Packard, which sells “Beats Audio” branded laptops, will be ending development of any product with the Beats affiliation at the end of 2014, according to a report from CNET. However, due to its licensing deals, the company will continue to sell Beats branded products through 2015. In an email, a company spokesperson said:
“HP is allowed to continue developing products with new Beats Audio technologies through 2014. But it’s allowed to continue selling devices with the Beats Audio logo and technology through 2015. HP says it’s planning an aggressive lineup of new products that includes the Beats branding through 2014.”
If you are in the market for an HP laptop with “Beats Audio” branded speakers, you have just over one year left before the two companies end their partnership.
In an interview with Re/code, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:
“What Beats brings to Apple are guys with very rare skills. People like this aren’t born every day. They’re very rare. They really get music deeply. So we get infusion in Apple of some great talent.”
Cook also suggested that Beats was the first music subscription company to “get it right”. As a part of the deal Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, co-founders of Beats Electronics, will become Apple employees and they will report to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services who oversees the company’s content stores including iTunes.