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Is Apple now dying its Beats headphone brand?

No time right now?

After Apple announced its first over-ear headphones with the Airpods Max, the question arises: What will happen to the Beats subsidiary?

Headphone legend Beats Electronics, headed by hip-hop legend Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine became the iPhone concern. At the time, Apple dug deep into its pockets with a takeover sum of three billion US dollars to take over the iconic lifestyle brand. Even six years later, the acquisition is still considered the largest takeover of Apple in almost 45 years of company history.

Beats still play a role at Apple – a small one

Apple Music – emerged from Beats Music – is one of the few services from the group that is also available for Android. (Image: Apple)

The deal wasn’t about what Apple and Beats were doing at the time, but about what they could achieve together in the future, Cook told tech portal Recode at the time. What Apple and Beats have achieved over the past six years is quite impressive. After all, the Apple Music service that emerged from the Beats streaming service is one of the largest players on the market alongside Spotify.

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Beats Music was almost completely integrated into the Apple cosmos in 2015. The only exception: The station Beats 1 existed until 2020, but was then renamed Apple Music 1 in August. This practice is not uncommon and is the case with most corporate acquisitions. To this day, Beats Electronics continues to build headphones and is allowed to exist as a separate brand alongside Apple’s Airpods – at least for now.

Apple’s Airpods dominate the market

If you take a look at Apple’s own Hearable development under the Airpods brand, it is questionable how long the brand with the distinctive “b” logo will be allowed to continue to exist. Beats continues to build good headphones, of which the higher-quality models, such as the recently introduced Beats Solo 3 Wireless and the sports headphones Powerbeats Pro, have an Apple chip on board for easy connection with iPhone and other products of the group.

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless come with Apple’s H1 chip and were introduced in 2019. (Photo: Beats)

The number of new Beats launches – especially in the premium segment – is falling. The Beats Studio 3 is the last ANC over-ear headphones from 2017. With their price of around 340 euros (RRP), they are nowhere near as much as Apple’s over-ear headphones debut Airpods Max for just under 600 euros approach; The fact that Beats has not presented a successor to the studio for three years does not suggest anything good. The last product Beats announced in October was Beats Flex – with just under 50 euros are probably the cheapest products from the manufacturer. Here we were already wondering whether budget products are the headphone manufacturer’s new direction, while Airpods cover the higher-priced product range.

In addition, Apple seems to have landed a real bestseller with its Airpods earplugs, which were first presented in 2015. In 2019 alone, the group is expected to have sold 60 million units of Airpods and Airpods Pro, doubling sales compared to the previous year. The numbers are also reflected in everyday life: while years ago the Beats brand with its – then – bass-heavy sound was popular as a headphone brand, today you can almost only see people in public with Airpods in their ears.

After all: Beats (still) has a prominent place in Apple’s store. (Screenshot: Apple Music / t3n)

Customers buy beats because it doesn’t say Apple

The question arises here: Why should Apple continue the Beats brand when the Airpods in their various (now three) wireless versions sell like sliced ​​bread and generate billions in sales? The answer to this seems obvious: How 9to5 Mac found out in April that Beats is not only a profitable company, but also reaches customers who do not want anything to do with the Apple or Airpods brands and apparently prefer to use the subsidiary’s product. Furthermore, Beats is closely associated with professional athletes and musicians with whom marketing deals exist, according to 9to5 Mac.

No more room for beats? Apple is expanding its Airpods portfolio step by step

Apple Airpods Max – the next step towards the end of beats? Perhaps. (Photo: Apple)

That said, it might only be a matter of time before Apple gradually sinks its daughter Beats. If you believe the well-known leaker John Prosser, Apple wants to gradually expand its headphone portfolio and phase out the Beats products in favor of the Airpods brand.

The Airpods Max should only be the first step. Starting in the upper price range, Apple could gradually work its way down to cheaper regions. After all, it was said in the summer that Apple is working on a version with a fitness cover in addition to a noble over-ear headphone version. There was also talk of affordable Airpods Lite, which could possibly be a replacement for the Beats X, is it[called.

In the next year, Apple will be refreshing its Airpods family of earbuds. The more affordable model will be based on the design of the Airpods Pro and get replaceable silicone earplugs. The Pro version will be more compact and lose its handle so that it could look similar to Google’s Pixel Buds (test) or the Galaxy Buds from Samsung, according to rumors. And beats? Time will tell if we’ll ever see a new version of the Studio Wireless – I wouldn’t count on that.

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