We were pretty shocked when HTC announced it was purchasing a 50.1% stake in Beats Audio; the two companies never seemed to have much in common aside from their digital upbringings. It’s been almost a year since that unlikely pairing and the Taiwanese giant is announcing it has sold 25% of its stake back to Beats itself for $150 million, losing essentially nothing on the initially investment.
This is a strange move for HTC, but something likely necessary to pad out the black ink on the ledger; they barely made a profit this last quarter and are focusing more closely on their core business, namely making great phones.
There’s no indication from this sale that HTC will stop including Beats Audio in its Sense Android software — the One series and the new Desire C come pre-loaded with Beats Audio sound profiles — and Beats promises continued mobile exclusivity for HTC. The two companies will continue to collaborate on future products, so to the average consumer this news will likely change nothing.