iPhone Life magazine

Beats to Help Apple Beat Cable Companies into Submission?

At iPhone Life, and around the web, there has been a groundswell of articles in favor of Apple's purchase of Beats. The longer it takes for Dr. Dre to officially become the first billionaire rapper, the more analysts have time to digest the rumor. At first, many observers were confused, but not the iPhone Life team. Now comes word from Steve Jobs' official biographer, Walt Isaacson, that lends credence to the rumored decision.


There are many benefits to the acquisition. First, headphones are the original "wearable" gadget, and Beats made them a money-making status symbol. That sounds a lot like Apple. Yes, we consumers pay a premium for Apple, but we make the calculation that it's worth it. Second, Apple retail stores sell a lot of Beats headphones, and Apple would love to keep the profit on those items rather than see them head to Beats by Dre.

Next, Music by Beats is an elegant, well-thought-out music subscription service that Apple could learn a lot from. Apple's iTunes Radio hasn't been able to kill off Pandora or Spotify, so there is room for improvement. But the real benefit to the Beats acquisition could come from the power players at the top, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.

Isaacson agrees with the iPhone Life team that the personalities could be the key to the purchase. Isaacson wrote that Steve Jobs had "cracked" the problem behind making Apple TV successful, and Jobs had been friends with Iovine. Bringing Iovine in to Apple, to head up relations with the entertainment industry could be the solution Jobs, and now Cook had envisioned. It seems crazy to spend $3.2 billion for one or two people, and of course Apple isn't. Apple gets the wildly successful Beats product line, and a brand they can leverage for their wearable products. A Beats watch could do quite well. But Apple paid nearly half a billion to acquire NeXT, when they also got Steve Jobs. So this could be a case of history repeating itself.

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is founder of No Tie Software, an app developer specializing in Ringtones and Sound FX including AutoRingtone.

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip, but over the years, Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62.

In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.