November 27, 2021

Apple set to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion

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Apple_5thAveBy Joe Cox From What Hifi?

Apple is reportedly set to buy Beats Electronics in a $3.2 billion deal, which would be the largest ever acquisition by Apple.

The deal would see Apple take control of the Beats by Dre headphone range as well as the Beats Music streaming service, which recently launched in the US.

The FT suggests Apple’s acquisition of Beats could signify Apple’s acceptance that, despite consistent sales volume and huge profits from the iPhone, iPad and other product categories, Apple is wary of losing its “cool”.

While Beats by Dre headphones and audio products have received mixed reviews – the three-star Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless headphones and Beats Pill wireless speaker, for example – the brand remains popular amongst a younger audience.

The Beats Electronics company was valued at over $1 billion based on investment received back in September 2013, but it seems Apple is prepared to stump up plenty more than that for complete control of a company which was reported to have made £1 billion in revenue last year.

Beats products were made by Monster up until 2012, after which owners Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre brought production in-house.

The company recently launched the Beats Music streaming service in the US, a Spotify rival, while Beats also branched out in to in-car audio earlier this year as part of a deal with Fiat.

Apple of course has a hefty chunk of the smartphone and tablet market, while iTunes dominates download sales, but an Apple streaming music service, iTunes Radio, has failed to capture the US public’s imagination since its launch in June.

Rumours back in March suggested Apple was planning to launch a fully-fledged streaming music service to take on the likes of Deezer, Rdio and Spotify. Beats Music could be the next part in that particular puzzle.

Apple has also, famously, struggled to deliver decent quality earphones, though the Apple EarPods finally delivered a decent alternative to the once ubiquitous, poor sounding white Apple buds.

The Financial Times, which first reported the story, suggests the deal could be announced as early as next week, though stressed some details are yet to be agreed.

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Related story:

Apple wins, Posner loses in smartphone patent appeal

reyna_jimmie_v_jadBy Scott Graham, The Recorder

SAN FRANCISCO — “Daubert for Dummkopfs” has officially been debunked.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday tore up big chunks of Judge Richard Posner’s pretrial ruling in the Apple-Motorola smartphone litigation, particularly his decision that almost all of the damages evidence from both sides was inadmissible.

Apple’s evidence was so biased, Posner had written, that if presented anywhere but a courtroom its proponent would be fired as a “dummkopf.” His ruling inspired a law review article titled “Daubert for Dummkopfs.” But the Federal Circuit ruled Posner had been too quick to find zero damages. “The district court’s decision states a rule that neither exists nor is correct,” Judge Jimmie Reyna wrote.

On the surface, Apple v. Motorola appeared to be mostly a win for Apple in its holy war with Google-owned Motorola Mobility over smartphone technology. The Federal Circuit largely adopted claim constructions advanced by Apple, including that its specification of touchscreen “heuristics” was not indefinite. The court also ruled that Posner had correctly refused to enjoin Apple from infringing a Motorola standard-essential patent on wireless communication.

But one of those wins could come back to bite Apple in its smartphone trial against Samsung in San Jose, which involves one of the same Apple patents, According to press reports, Judge Lucy Koh ruled Friday that she would reopen testimony next week and let Samsung argue that Apple’s damages are limited under the claim construction adopted by the Federal Circuit for the patent, which covers “quick links” that flag phone numbers in messages.

PHOTO: Judge Jimmie V. Reyna, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit J. Albert Diaz

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