Apple's Acquisition of Beats Met with Skepticism, but Jimmy Iovine May Be Key

Since the Financial Times broke the news yesterday, numerous publications are now claiming Apple is in the final stages of acquiring Beats Electronics, a headphone company and streaming music service created by hip hop star Dr. Dre and music industry veteran Jimmy Iovine. The response to the news is mixed, with some experts offering compelling reasons for the deal and other pundits questioning Apple's rationale in pursuing what would be its biggest acquisition to date.

Iovine has strong ties to the music industry and a long history of working with Apple, having met with Steve Jobs to discuss a subscription music service in 2003 and more recently in talks with Apple's Tim Cook and Eddy Cue about the Beats Music service before it launched earlier this year. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Iovine credits Apple as his inspiration for the idea of the Beats brand.

"The idea of Beats...to be very frank, I got from Apple," he said, noting the "uniqueness of their blending of technology with popular culture."

If the acquisition proceeds, Iovine may join Apple as a "special adviser" to Tim Cook on creative matters. Iovine would bring to Apple his knowledge of the music business as evidenced in a AllThingsD interview from last year embedded below, and his insider influence that Wall Street Journal sources predict could be used to boost advertising on Apple's existing iTunes Radio.


Apple also would acquire Beats' successful consumer electronics business selling high-margin headphones and its newly launched music streaming service. Apple could bring the Beats hardware brand under the guidance of Jony Ive and use it to create new music product lines and add new channels to sell Apple's products, suggests Re/code. The Beats music service is likely a longer-term investment, allowing Apple to accelerate any plans to offer a streaming music service for its iTunes customers, which number in the hundreds of millions.

Analysts, however, are meeting the news of the high-priced acquisition with both contempt and confusion, noting that such an acquisition is out of character for the Cupertino company. One of the first to weigh in on the deal was Gene Munster, who called the acquisition a "bad idea" in an investor note.

We are struggling to see the rationale behind this move. Beats would of course bring a world class brand in music to Apple, but Apple already has a world class brand and has never acquired a brand for a brand's sake (i.e., there are no non-Apple sub-brands under the company umbrella). Separately, we are not aware of any intellectual property within Beats that would drive the acquisition justification beyond the brand.

Apple pundit John Gruber of Daring Fireball was equally skeptical of the deal, saying "I don’t get it."

On the surface, this doesn’t make any sense to me. I can’t see Apple keeping the “Beats” brand around for headphones. If Apple wanted to sell expensive high-end headphones, they don’t need to spend $3 billion. The Beats streaming service is interesting, but can’t Apple do that on its own, as an expansion of the iTunes Music Store and iTunes Radio?

According to the original Financial Times report, Apple's acquisition of Beats could be announced as soon as next week. Negotiations are still ongoing with some final details yet to be ironed out, allowing for the possibility that "talks could still fall apart."

Top Rated Comments

DrFu79 Avatar
110 months ago
If true, this literally has to be the worst acquisitition i can think of.

I hate Beats with a passion - all style, no substance.

As a longtime (20+Years) Apple user, I don't want this kind of philosophy (further?) taking over Apple - all about fashion and brand. Angela Ahrends, Beats etc.

Just make a damn good product and it sells itself by merit. Stop the fluff.

Kids get off my lawn. I know.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0xyMoron Avatar
110 months ago
Really why should a company worth billions of dollars acquire another company before consulting MR forum posters first?
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
touchipods Avatar
110 months ago
Wow, Steve Jobs would have never let this happen.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdridwan47 Avatar
110 months ago
Overpriced meets overpriced.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nzalog Avatar
110 months ago
Google buys Nest and Apple buys Beats. What has the world come to? Embarrassed as an Apple user. :(
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bishopstory Avatar
110 months ago
Please guys stop the Friday morning CEOing!


Take a look at Jimmie Iovine's Wikipedia page, he is the Chairman and co-founder or Interscope Records (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interscope_Records) and Chairman of Interscope Geffen A & M (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interscope_Geffen_A%26M) which is part of the Universal Music Group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Music_Group) which is the largest music corporation in the World . Also scroll down to the complete Iovine discography.

Spot on dude.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
iOS 16

Everything New in the Latest iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 Betas: Stage Manager Expansion, Wallpaper Tweaks and More

Tuesday September 27, 2022 11:36 am PDT by
Apple today released new betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers, tweaking some of the functionality that's been introduced in prior betas and in the case of iPadOS 16.1, adding a major new feature to Stage Manager. We've rounded up everything new in both betas below. Wallpaper Updates Apple has updated the Wallpaper section of the Settings app to allow users to swap between...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...