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Consumer Electronics

Apple sets its sights on Beats Electronics

Newspaper reports say US consumer electronics company giant Apple is interested in purchasing Beats Electronics, a popular headphone company. The acquisition would be huge, but a deal is not yet certain.

The Financial Times said Apple was eying a $3.2-billion (2.31-billion-euro) takeover of California's Beats Electronics founded by rapper Dr. Dre. The New York Times added on Friday that a deal could be reached as early as next week, but warned the negotiations might also drag on.

The potential acquisition would add Beat Electronics' popular line of headphones and its music streaming service to Apple's line-up that already includes digital music players and the iTunes store, the world's top music retailer.

If the deal is reached, it would mark the largest purchase ever made by the Cupertino-based company in its 38-year history.

Looking for a growth driver

Apple has traditionally seen little need to buy technology from other firms, showing its confidence in its ability to turn its own ideas into new products such as the Mac computer, the iPod and the iPad.

Apple the world's most valuable firm

But the company has not released a breakthrough product since its former CEO and chief visionary, Steve Jobs, died in October 2011.

The Financial Times (FT) said his successor, Tim Cook, needed to prove that he was capable of sustaining the success of the world's most valuable company and ensure its continued growth.

The negotiations were taking place as the music market tilted toward streaming and away from the downloads that once drove the success of Apple's digital music store, iTunes.

Streaming music had generated a 39-percent increase last year in revenues for rivals such as Pandora and Spotify, the FT said.

hg/ipj (AP, AFP)

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