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Verizon to Sell HTC Smartphone With Dr. Dre Beats Headphones

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Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile carrier, plans to start selling an HTC Corp. smartphone with audio capabilities developed by the headphone maker backed by rapper Dr. Dre.

The HTC Rezound will start selling for $299.99 with a two-year agreement on Nov. 14, Verizon said today in a statement. It runs on Google Inc.’s Android software.

In August, HTC agreed to buy control of Beats Electronics, formed in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Universal Music’s Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine. The HTC Rezound comes with lightweight Beats headphones.

“The record industry has got to go mobile,” Iovine said at an event in New York today. Beats partnered with HTC because “they’re fast to market, they care about innovation and they care about audio.”

HTC, which makes devices that run on Google Inc.’s Android and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone software, became the top seller of smartphones in the U.S. by units last quarter, according to the research firm Canalys.

HTC isn’t planning to make its own operating system for mobile devices, Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou said.

“For us, an operating system is not the most important,” Chou said today in an interview in New York. “An ecosystem is more important. HTC is more of a partnership company and we like to share.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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