Apple & Beats

Apple’s potential acquisition of Beats is all everyone can seem to be discussing – on blogs, twitter, and the podcasts I listen to. It is a strange acquisition, and since we know nothing, I like what @siracusa said on a recent episode of ATP about “building your own acquisition”. And just like everyone else, I feel compelled to add my thoughts:

  • Beats is a fashion brand as much as a headphone manufacturer.
  • Apple just a hired Angela Arhendt, the (now) ex-CEO of Burberry. Apparently they’ve also hired the former CEO of Yves St. Laurent, Paul Deneve.
  • One of my first memories of the iPod are the silhouetted, colourful ads. This always Struck me as very fashionable
  • Yes, maybe Steve Jobs would never had executed an acquisition such as this…an established brand with a big consumer mindshare; but this is no longer Steve Jobs’ Apple. And I dare say, he would want Tim Cook to make Apple his own.
  • There is nothing wrong with “Beats by Apple”
  • I’ve generally stayed away from earphones / headphones that cost more than $/£ 40. This is because I’ve been burned by a more expensive pair of in-ear monitors stopping to work after not very long. I generally treat mine pretty badly, because I travel a lot, throw them in pockets, and crumple them up.
  • I would likely buy a pair of Beats by Apple. Especially if it integrated some kind of “quantified-self” sensor.
  • Most of my friend or family circle would not buy a pair of Beats by Apple.
  • I’ve never used the Beats music streaming service. It’s not available in the UK. I do use, am a generally a fan of, Spotify.
  • I don’t know or understand whether Apple would need to renegotiate streaming contracts. But I do understand the benefit of having people who have strong relationships within the music industry. Iovine and Dre will be critical in any future music deals. All business is done based in relationships.
  •  iTunes has been around since 2001. What if, just what if, Apple retired the iTunes brand in favour of Beats? It would be the ultimate canabalisation, quite likely something that only Apple is capable of. iTunes on the Mac needs a huge refresh, it’s become a beast of an application.
  • I do wonder how this acquisition will go down within Apple, culturally. This is probably the biggest risk.