About 14 hours ago we reported that Taiwanese handset vendor HTC was going to be announcing “major news today”. Thanks to AllThingsD, we now know what that is. Apparently HTC is going to sink $300 million into Beats Electronics, the same company that makes all that audio equipment with Dr. Dre branding, in an attempt to make their products sound better. Let that sink in for a moment. HTC, $300 million, Dr. Dre, audio fidelity. The official announcement is due to take place later today, but if it turns out to be nothing more than HTC taking a majority stake in a company that slaps the name of a once famous rap artist on over priced headphones made by over worked Chinese children, then we’re going to be in a state of shock. For that amount of money HTC could have bundled premium headphones with all their devices, or soldered some high end DACs (digital analog converters) on their smartphone motherboards, or purchased a stake in Spotify, Rdio, or MOG, or … lots of other things besides etching a brand no one cares about on the back of their mobile phones.
Between this investment, the recent announcement that unlocking the bootloader of your Android smartphone will void your warranty, and the heinous monstrosity known as Sense UI that refuses to die, we’re quickly starting to lose respect for this company. Where’s the HTC of yesteryear, the company that worked closely with Google to launch the first Android phone and the first Nexus device? Has this anything to do with HTC’s Chief of Innovation Horace Luke recent resignation? Is the company now run by a bunch of accountants and public relations pricks? All signs point to yes.
Luckily for us Samsung is quickly transforming themselves into the cool kid on the block. Motorola could get some kudos from us too, but only if they decide to put the team who invented MotoBLUR on a sheet of ice and push them off to sea.