Apple’s costly acquisition of Beats Electronics has divided opinion among the iFaithful and could be Tim Cook’s first major misstep, a poll of tech fans suggests.
In a uSwitch Tech study, 53 per cent of participants dubbed the buyout of Dr Dre’s and Jimmy Iovine’s joint venture a ‘good move’.
But with 47 per cent of the sample unconvinced of the wisdom of the deal, it’s fair to say that it’s not everyone’s idea of a good bit of business.
Doubts over the buyout will surely have stemmed in part from the questionable audio quality of Dr Dre’s headphones.
Granted, they’re undoubtedly better than the ones that come with iDevices. But that’s really, really nothing to shout about.
And they’re markedly worse to our ears than buds from other headphone-makers which Apple could surely have picked up for a fraction of the outlay.
Then there's the fact that the appeal of Beats kit seems to be rooted in fashion, which is a pretty fickle mistress. Especially given that Beats buds’ moment as fash-pack types’ and footballers’ headphones of choice seemed to pass some time ago.
As for the pro-Beats deal lobby, they’re surely mindful that the deal is much more about the Beats Music Spotify-style streaming service than Dre’s headphones business.
That way of looking at the takeover is posited on iTunes’s fading fortunes, as more and more consumers turn to streaming music rather than buying downloads.
Buying Beats gives Apple an established, albeit still fairly nascent streaming platform to piggyback on. And, more importantly, allows it to move into the space much faster than launching its own service.