Does Apple still care about their Beats subsidiary?

“Apple’s big fall iPhone event is tomorrow, but if you’ve been hoping for something new from Beats, prepare to be let down,” Micah Singleton reports for The Verge. “The company does not plan to announce any new hardware from Beats, the largest premium headphone company in the world, a source close to the situation tells The Verge.”

“In fact, any and all evidence surrounding new headphones from the company points toward new products directly from Apple,” Singleton reports. “There’s a strong chance that we’ll see an updated pair of AirPods. There has also been talk about Apple producing its own over-the-ear headphones, which would presumably compete against options from Beats, the headphone company Apple spent $3 billion acquiring.”

“There’s a good chance 2018 will end with no new products from Beats at all, which is uncharted territory for the headphone maker. Since Apple bought Beats Electronics in 2013, its subsidiary has released either a new pair of headphones or a speaker every year until now. That may seem like a jarring shift at first, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that Beats has largely only made iterative updates: it’s on the third edition of its Solo, Studio, and Powerbeats lines, all of which have received minor updates over the years instead of releasing truly new and innovative products.”

Beats X earphones featuring the Apple W1 chip
Beats X earphones featuring the Apple W1 chip

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Does Apple still care about their Beats subsidiary? Probably not very much.

While we can’t think of “Beats” without mentally completing the sentence with “sound like garbage,” Apple should milk the thing for all it’s worth by releasing more than just iterative updates and new colors. Signing athletes and celebrities to endorse them is obviously sound, well-proven strategy, but some truly new products certainly wouldn’t hurt.


  1. Did anybody seriously expect any Beats new product announcement to be made during an Apple event?

    Apple may own Beats, but it would be very unusual for any company to combine announcements from another company within their group during a high profile product launch for their iconic brand.

  2. Just more of the same inaction by Apple toward anything that is not the iPhone. One day this company will realize their mistakes in ignoring a whole host of previously beloved products. But hey, remember they have over 120,000 employees working “very hard”. Oh and, they have a beautiful “space ship” shaped campus to impress themselves with to boot!

    1. what delirious state are you living in? With the exception of the mac pro i would love to know what they have been devout of new models in?
      Apple watch- every year since inception
      iphone- every year since inception
      Macbook pro- 2 redesigns in last 5 years and iterative updates almost every year.
      Airpods 2 years ago and supposedly this year.
      Imac- been 2 years unless you count the imac pro which came out last year.
      Ipads- Almost every year sometimes 2x a year
      Beats- every year since apple has bought them
      Apple tv- 2 years in a row

      if you’re concerned with the mac mini, or the airport you have to consider that equal options have come along in these categories and there is no profit driver there for apple.

      just my observations.

      1. Too much slack.

        The Mac line is still a directionless mess. I’ve been waiting to buy a MacBook Pro for four years, and until I know that the membrane solves the crumb vulnerable keyboard issue (and still don’t like the feel or general ergonomics), not gonna happen.

        The touch bar is a also a dead end technology. Too expensive for the lower end, and likely can’t work on an iMac keyboard – wired or wireless as it needs to be integrated into the circuity. So will never be a developer priority.

        Only a sop to those wanting a touch screen option – which could have been well on the way to maturity with three years to evolve MacOS to work well with it (though it must still be in their labs somewhere).

        Who knows if they’re going to finally rationalize their MacBook/MBA mess? I won’t buy a tiny ToyBook if they drop the 13″ lower end (as strictly speaking I don’t need a pro – just more than the current lower end gives – retina and more RAM and oomph).

        And if they do away with the MBA keyboard level of travel and quietness altogether, then it’ll be the unthinkable time to start shopping other OSs.

        The iMac’s only been iterated for a loong time – with its unadjustable single screen angle and huge chin.

        And no new mini is just stubbornness.

        All being addressed? Show me before I’m out of the ecosystem altogether (love the true wide angle lens on my V30).

      2. Right! You lead your comment with both the watch and the iphone, every year. The rest of the stuff you mention clearly states “years” between releases for Macs. Apple is good at producing basically a phone per year. Remember the rest of the stuff that goes along with the phone also comes about annually (perfect example: more dongles). Other than that, they’re slacking off. Where’s any updates on the software side of things (e.g. iCloud, Pages, Keynote, Mail, et al.)? Nonexistent. In the meantime, they’ve touted for a long time that they’re really a software company making hardware. Oh really? Google is killing them in that arena. Just ask any K12 kid about GSuite. Apple should and could be out maneuvering many others, but chooses to spend time and money almost exclusively toward a device with little software improvements.

        As I stated above, Apple will rue the day they forgot their core products and software. The day will come if they don’t extend their prowess across long established core sectors, which they are not doing right now.

        That’s where I’m living!

  3. Apple may have been better off investing in Siri – that disaster of an assistant. Instead, tin can speakers pedaled by celebrities…is where Apple decided to focus…which really isn’t focus at all, is it.

    1. while i dont personally care for beats Siri has come a long way in the last year. I am not sure what you use it for but i have my entire home outfitted with apple homekit accessories from lights to blinds to locks and i almost never have to even take out my phone to control it. Siri processes commands instantaneously. The music abilities of siri are awesome and the Q&A portion is much improved as noted by MDN that siri now outperforms Alexa in the standard 100 question set and is closing in on google.

  4. Apple was “beating-off” when it acquired Beats. A poor purchase that I don’t think has paid off for them, even with the awkward ill-fitting Beats founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine helping Apple Music but who were so counter to Apple culture. (Steve Jobs was cool, the staid and more conservative Tim Cook is not.)

    Apple bought inferior tech and then did not improve the tech to Apple standards. I can buy superior much less expensive headphones and I could care less about headphone fashion. Beats are made for kids who’ve yet to become discerning. Not a serious player with audiophiles or anyone who cares about great sound.

    1. I agree they were a poor choice for the price Apple paid but where we differ is how much better the quality is in the latest version, whether that was on Beats roadmap before or Apple’s move after the sale I don’t know.

      I NEVER cared for the original Beats poor sound and poor build quality across the line.

      However, after testing a pair of Beats3 on ear for the wife’s 7Plus Bluetooth (and wired) I was really happy with the improvements. Most serious reviews of the newer models were positive and she has enjoyed them for over a year with no issues (and she loves how they look, important to women)

      I have a pair of Beyerdynamic 990 Pro 250 ohm used with a Peachtree Audio Nova and also HiFiMan 400 planers so when it came time for workout buds I tried many then settled on the Beats for stability in ear, sweat resistance, and amazing price (sale). Their excellent sound via Bluetooth was a huge surprise.

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