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To bundle or not to bundle? HTC nixes Beats earbuds from future phones

Luckily, HTC will continue to integrate the Beats Audio enhancement technology in their devices
April 7, 2012

For all the goodies that the HTC One series devices are packing inside, one can’t help to wonder why Beats headphones are conspicuosly missing from the package. Other recent high-end smartphones from the company, after all, have come with those distinctive red and black earbuds. If you hope to find a pair in the box of any of the new HTC phones, such as the HTC EVO 4G LTE, you’re bound to be disappointed.

HTC product executive Martin Ficther explained to CNET that, for the time being, they have shelved the idea of bundling Beats earbuds with HTC smartphones. The company learnt it the hard way that, at the end of the day, the headphones weren’t really a drawing factor for customers that bought HTC phones, such as the Sensation XL or the Rezound.

According to Ficther, “an accessory like the headphone doesn’t factor in when someone is buying a smartphone.” He then added that, “if they want a Beats headphone, they’ll buy it directly.”

In an attempt to stand out from their competitors, HTC purchased 51% of Beats Electronics for $300 million, in the hope that it will get a mind share boost with young, hip music lovers. Given the less than impressive response from customers, as well as from carriers, tech pundits now question the expensive move. The bundling of Beats headphones wasn’t enough to save the sales of HTC Rezound on Verizon from mediocre results, with the carrier chosing to push the Droid Razr instead over the lucrative holiday season.

So, what’s next for the synergy between HTC and Beats? For one thing, HTC will continue to integrate the Beats Audio sound enhancement technology (a fancy equalizer, basically) in most of its devices. Though it may not be pulling in as good of a number that HTC was expecting, the integration helps create product differentiation.

Lest we forget the recent acquisition by HTC and Beats of cloud music service MOG, which can potentially help cement the HTC devices’ status as the designated Android music phones, and create a complete music ecosystem for HTC users. This is something that the Taiwanese can pull off if they play their cards right.

Will you miss those questionably trendy Beats earbuds from future HTC phones?