The possible disappearance of Beats and its final integration into Apple.
Beats became a subsidiary of Apple after its acquisition in May 2014, remaining in part separate from Apple. It had two main businesses, with music streaming being the one that was immediately absorbed and transformed into Apple Music the following year. The headphones have stood apart, receiving even new models and updates to existing lines. Up to now.
A series of evidences point to a more than possible total absorption of the brand. Six years after becoming Apple’s largest acquisition, Beats could disappear forever.
The disappearance of Beats 1, Apple’s original radio
With the presentation of Beats 1 at the same time as Apple Music, Apple was creating its first world radio station. Operative 24 hours a day, it had different presenters who conducted interviews with groups, played music and looked for trends. In 2017, Apple announced that its radio was the largest in the world in terms of simultaneous users.
Beats 1 was characterized by playing rap, hip-hop and other similar styles, which is why it was speculated with other radios that would give space to different genres. Apple registered the name of several Beats chains although it never released any additional ones.
Finally, yesterday was when Beats 1 has gained new stations. Although not in the expected way, because the company has decided to change the name to Apple Music 1. And as an addition, it has released two more: Apple Music Hits for famous songs from past decades and Apple Music Country. The change is effective since yesterday and can now be heard from any compatible device.
From this moment, Beats no longer has a site as a trademark on Apple iPhones. Except for the headphones that still maintain it, although as we will see below, their days could be numbered.
Goodbye to Beats headphones too?
Since the acquisition in 2014, Beats has launched new products with integrated Apple technology. The headphones Powerbeats3, Beats Solo 3, BeatsX and Powerbeats Pro are some of these examples. The Beats Solo Pro, for example, use the same H1 chip as the AirPods Pro.
You ready for this? 👀
Apple Over-Ear Headphones
(Think Beats 700)
Aimed for WWDC
For sports / running
(think Beats X)
~ $ 200
Aimed for Sept / Oct
☝️ Probably what DigiTimes thought was “AirsPods Pro Lite”
End goal: phase out Beats 🤫
– Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 7, 2020
Last April, Jon Prosser (who has already recovered his YouTube channel after a hack) launched the rumor that we can see above. According to the leaker, Apple plans to launch over-ear headphones which was later called AirPods Studio, as well as AirPods X, both models similar to those already sold under Beats. And he closes his tweet stating that the idea is to leave behind the brand founded by Dr. Dre.
Absorbing Beats would allow Apple to focus its efforts on a single “lance” in the form of AirPods with which to conquer the wearables market even more
Giving more detail about this supposed movement of the apple, the youtuber assured that Apple’s idea was to gradually relieve Beats. By launching these two models, Apple would be counting on a total of four different headphones to complete your wearable offering. However, Prosser missed the release date for the AirPods Studio (its reliability is questionable). Although we can still see news about it this fall.
On the other hand, 9to5Mac came out stating shortly after that absorbing Beats was not in Apple’s plans. As an excuse the publication used that Apple continues to invest in Beats brand products, releasing new headphones on a regular basis. With Beats, Apple is able to reach a customer segment that does not want to be associated with Apple.
In spite of everything, the progressive replacement of Beats headphones does not stop rumbling. Replacing Beats 1 with Apple Music 1 has far less impact and implications than replacing an entire range of headphones. But the apple’s interest in having more and better wearables is also powerful. The popularity of the AirPods is obvious, taking all the momentum in Apple’s wireless earbuds, while the appeal that Beats once had seems to have faded.