Somewhere Steve Jobs is bobbing his head to earbuds out of spite.
Last year, headlines began getting snippy with one of the most beloved brands in recent history as Apple sold what was reported as the largest corporate-bond deal in U.S. history at $17 billion of debt. Since then, a malaise has swarmed over the tech world as people drift to Android and hipsters continue to use Genius Bars as Bible study locations.
And then Dr. Dre came to the rescue?! This is the same producer from N.W.A. Dr. Dre, right? The dude from ‘The Chronic’ right? That Dr. Dre?
Yup, and there are 3.2 billion reasons why Apple wants him to keep their heads ringin’.
According to this report from Financial Times (that this reporter chose to use from CNET because of crappy paywalls), Apple is reportedly in talks to acquire Beats Electronics, the high-end-headphone maker co-founded by hip-hop artist Dr. Dre, in a deal worth $3.2 billion!
Under the close-to-being-ironed-out-deal, Apple would gain control of Beats’ audio hardware division, as well as the firm’s subscription-based music streaming service. The Beats management team would report to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“So I met [Jobs] and we hit it off right away. We were really close,” Iovine said. “We did some great marketing stuff together: 50 Cent, Bono, Jagger, stuff for the iPod — we did a lot of stuff together. But I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn’t keen on it right away.”
Well, of course he wasn’t. You sell headphones … headphones … for hundreds of dollars because a rap mogul makes them? And now we have this partnership. Apple is trying to get its cool points back. Who would have thought the company that created iTunes would do it by purchasing some headphones?
Now, here’s Dre’s equivalent of a pre-press release: