HTC Pins Its Hopes on Music and Software

To reverse a decline, it pins its hopes on music and software
CEO Chou's new line of HTC One phones is getting raves Photo illustration by 731; Chou photograph by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A peek at Peter Chou’s smartphone reveals an abundance of ’70s and ’80s easy-listening hits from the Bee Gees, the Eagles, and Lionel Richie. “No rap,” says Chou, chief executive officer of Taiwan phonemaker HTC. In business, though, he is very much a fan of legendary hitmaker Dr. Dre. Chou bought his way into Dre’s inner circle last year when HTC paid $300 million for a 51 percent stake in Beats Electronics, the maker of high-end audio gear founded by Dre and Interscope-Geffen-A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine. “We don’t care about the headphones,” says Chou. Instead, Beats’s technology—both hardware and software—will help make listening to music on an HTC smartphone a “unique and differentiated and awesome” experience, he says.

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