Saying that customers aren't buying its phones for premium earphones, HTC Product executive Martin Fichter told CNET that the iconic Beats Audio earbuds will no longer be included in the box of some models. Fichter said that since customers were not picking HTC models because of the accessory, it was not worth the extra expense to the Taiwan based manufacturer. Premium handsets like the HTC EVO 4G LTE and the HTC One series will now come with traditional earphones in the box
, and there will be some models that won't even have a cheaper set of earphones included at all.
The Beats Audio headphones came with certain models in the second half of last year, like the HTC Rezound
and the HTC Sensation XL
. But including the premium accessory forced HTC to raise prices while the competition could offer similar quality smartphones for lower prices. HTC still will include the Beats Audio technology on certain models as it needs a reason to justify last year's $300 million purchase of 51% of the audio firm
. The idea was to differentiate HTC's handsets from other manufacturers.
With the headphones now out of the box, there is speculation that HTC could be looking to turn Beats Audio into a streaming music service
that would still give HTC buyers a proprietary Beats Audio experience without adding to the cost of selling phones.