“Beats is arguably the world’s most iconic headphone brand. Its success was built on the popularity of hip hop culture and catapulted to new heights when Apple acquired the company. The tech giant hasn’t made many updates to the product and even failed to mention Beats last week at its Fall preview event,” Kori Hale writes for Forbes. “Is Apple leaving Beats and African-American aestheticism behind?”

“Apple needed to tap into black culture to differentiate its headphone product from the competition. The company shelled out around $3 billion to acquire Beats back in 2014,” Hale writes. “Herein lies the dilemma for Apple, even though they own Beats outright, it’s clearly in direct competition with their in-house AirPods brand.”

“The last major launch was the BeatsX neckband-based Bluetooth earphones back in 2016, other lines have received basic incremental updates. Despite the lack of new innovative hardware Beats is a staple among hip hop artists and athletes alike, which has helped pushed the brand to own nearly 50% of the premium headphone market, according to Statista,” Hale writes. “Even if the company isn’t currently updating Beats products, it’s still inking very lucrative sports deals. Most recently Beats became the official partner of the NBA in a multi-year agreement. Considering the strong synergies between hip-hop and basketball, this is another sure way for Apple to use culture to increase sales.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple did just release Beats headphones and earphones in new colors to match iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR, so they are doing something with Beats hardware at least.

Earlier this month, Beats also announced a comprehensive marketing and merchandising partnership with the NBA that will make the company the official headphone, wireless speaker and audio partner of the league, so Apple’s doesn’t seem to be “leaving Beats and African-American aestheticism behind.”

Beats headphones and earphones get new colors to match iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR – September 12, 2018
Does Apple still care about their Beats subsidiary? – September 11, 2018

Apple’s Beats and NBA announce global partnership; team-branded headphones coming soon
– September 5, 2018