Why Apple pulled the plug on Monster

“The backstory to the lawsuit that Monster LLC filed in January against Beats Electronics LLC would take too long to tell here,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“The point is, when you mess with Apple — even at arms length, through an entity it acquired — you’re messing with a company that has tons of cash, swarms of lawyers and many levers of power with which it can squeeze a troublesome partner,” P.E.D. reports. “And so it was that Monster went to the Wall Street Journal to complain that Apple had revoked its authority to make licensed accessories for Apple devices—pulling the plug, as it were, on its high-margin MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) cables.”

Full article, i which P.E.D writes that he “wouldn’t be surprised if Apple and Monster also found a way to patch things up,” here.

MacDailyNews Take: Regarding Monster cables:

“In true Silicon Valley fashion, [Monster CEO Noel Lee] started out in his family’s basement: taste-testing different varieties of copper wire until he found a type that he thought enhanced audio quality. Then, also in Silicon Valley fashion, he marketed the shit out of it and jacked up its price: Monster Cable. Before it was ever mentioned in the same gasp as Dre, Monster was trying to get music lovers to buy into a superior sound that existed mostly in imaginations and marketing brochures,” Sam Biddle reported for Gizmodo back in September 2013. “‘We came up with a reinvention of what a speaker cable could be,’ Noel Lee boasts. His son, Kevin, describes it differently: ‘a cure for no disease.'”

Much more in the full article here.


Apple pulls Monster’s authority to make licensed accessories following Monster’s lawsuit against Apple’s Beats – June 16, 2015
Monster lawsuit accuses Apple’s Dr. Dre And Jimmy Iovine of ‘fraud’ and ‘betrayal’ – January 7, 2015
Monster sues Apple’s Beats Electronics, founders Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine claiming fraud – January 7, 2015
Monster CEO sounds a little bitter over Apple’s planned $3.2 billion Beats acquisition – May 14, 2014
Apple sues headphone entrepreneur for claiming to be Beats co-founder – September 30, 2014


  1. I guess, companies started in basement differs from the ones started in garages and attics. You know, when you are going to start a company in a basement than better make sure it is situated on a ground level and has windows. If it’s not you’re risking loosing the perspective. Similarly, Steve’s parents garage certainly wouldn’t work for him as good as it did if they lived on Alaska;)

  2. In about 1984 I bought some Monster speaker cables for about $40. Still have them. They work, but not any better then regular cables of the same gauge.

    That $40, along with $24 I spent on a telemarketed fake magazine subscription around the same time, is the best money I’ve ever spent. That taught me not to get ripped off by sales people selling me stuff I don’t need. I’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars on just about everything since then including car purchases, investments and loans. 64 dollars wasn’t that much to learn that hard lesson. 😀

  3. Not knowing the details of Beats/Monster process and reserving Apple’s rights to sell whatever they want, Monster Cables is a premium audio products’ line with far superior quality than average other suppliers, used by lots of professionals in sound and music business. Being on litigation with Apple doesn’t make its products to be more inferior than they are.

    1. • Monster is infamous for hyped rhetoric about the ‘superiority’ of their cables.
      • Monster is infamous for accompanying their hyped rhetoric with price markups that are, from my experience, 10x above the actual market price for products that I’ve found to be entirely adequate.

      If we were talking about analog signal transmission, I’d giggle at Monster. But we’re talking about digital signal transmission. Therefore, I heartily laugh at Monster. Their hype and markup are absurdities for the purpose of screwing the suckers who don’t understand the technology.

      1. Everything I’ve used from Monster was way a satisfied superior product. My colleagues on audio and music business attest the same. What I heard from Beats phones are lame. So what? Beats are cool. I don’t have any interest on Monster. Other than that, all this seems like fans’ war. As I said, just because of Apple’s litigation there’s no need this kind of depreciation.

          1. Dereck: maybe those that purchase Monster Cables would be interested in pre-ordering Y10k compliant batteries. That way they’ll beat the rush, and be assured of a sufficient supply. 🖖😀⌚️

            1. I have rarely found that the ‘cost’ estimates regarding Apple are remotely real. I’ve blethered on about specifically why in the past. But, it certainly worth questioning why anyone has to pay $49 for a mere watch band.

        1. No one is arguing that Monster makes good products. They do.

          They’re just not worth the price premium.

          If Toyota Motors developed a new car, and sold the EXACT same car under both their Toyota and Lexus brands, with absolutely ZERO differences between them, people who love and defend Monster cables would gladly pay an additional $15,000 for the Lexus version, because they fell for the Lexus marketing and illusion of it as a higher-quality brand.

          Fortunately for Lexus owners, their versions do at least have some feature and luxury advantages (still not worth the money, IMHO).

          Not so for Monster.

      2. Exactly!! I also LOL’d when I first saw a Monster TOSlink fiber cable (& again at their HDMI).

        Um…it’s digital, guys, so either the signal gets through well enough for built-in signal error correction to fix any issues, or it doesn’t.

        And if it doesn’t, you won’t hear any degradation in quality….it will just STOP COMPLETELY.

        It’s like old-school analog vs modern digital cell phones…the analog ones would sound worse (static, etc) as your signal got worse. Modern digital phones sound PERFECT all the time, unless the signal gets worse than error correction can handle, then it simply drops completely and you lose the call.

    2. Microsoft products are used in tons or professional environments, too…much more so than Apple.

      And yet, they are far inferior.

      Monster cables are certainly good cables, no question. They’re just absolutely not worth the premium price, because they’re no better than any other decently-made cable of the same gauge….and for half or less of the price.

  4. I have no inside information, but it seems to me that both Monster and Beats are known for marketing “great” audio that really isn’t anything special. Monster cables and Beats headphones are a match made in heaven. They are perfect scam partners. And then allegedly Beats scammed Monster.

    While I don’t support Apple getting heavy handed with a company who may have gotten screwed by their acquisition, I also feel like Beats and Monster are already doomed by their own karma.

    I think that the only reason that Apple acquired Beats is because sometimes, if you need to wheel and deal with slimeballs, you need your own.

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