HP drops Beats for Bang & Olufsen

March 25, 2015 // 11:46 a.m.

Hewlett Packard has confirmed that it is to cease using Beats-brand audio systems in its products, following the company's acquisition by rival Apple, and has instead signed a deal with noted high-end audio specialist Bang & Olufsen.

HP had previously signed a deal with Beats, the audio electronics company co-founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, to see its audio technology used in various products. It wasn't alone: HTC enjoyed the technology, or at least the branding, so much it acquired a majority stake in the company in 2011 for $309 million. When Apple acquired Beats in a deal valued at $3 billion, it was expected that companies competing in Apple's markets and currently using Beats technology would be looking for alternatives - and HP has confirmed exactly that with its latest deal.

HP has confirmed that its new deal with Bang & Olufsen will take a similar form to its previous Beats deal: B&O technology and branding will be used on the company's consumer products, with either the Bang & Olufsen logo or mobile-centric B&O Play logo appearing on the products so supported.

Naturally, HP says the deal is more than a branding opportunity: HP has claimed that B&O will be providing engineering support to tune future devices, which will include tweaks over existing designs claimed to include greater electrical isolation for audio circuitry and a reduction in the amount of metal used in the headphone jack.

HP had previously dealt with B&O to produce the company's network infrastructure, which runs on HP's ProLiant server products and featured in the company's customer profile series (PDF warning.)
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