If you’ve purchased an HTC smartphone in the last year or so you may have noticed the “Beats Audio” sticker on the back. That’s because HTC made a $300 million investment in Beats By Dre back in 2011. The company began adding Beats technology to its smartphones in an effort to distinguish them against other handsets on the market, though it’s unclear how successful that has been for HTC. Now, that partnership may soon come to an end.
The Wall Street Journal said Monday that Beats by Dr. Dre is considering buying out HTC’s investment in the company and is searching for a different investor. It’s not clear what will happen at this point, or why the two may go separate ways, though one source told The Wall Street Journal that the relationship “ended up souring with differences in opinion on strategy.”
HTC could probably license the technology to continue using it in its smartphones, though we imagine it might also go looking for another audio partner. Or ditch the focus on audio altogether.