May 12th 2014
By Mike Flaminio
When I first heard the rumor Apple was buying Beats, I rolled my eyes. The modern Apple only limits itself to bite sized accusations. And purchases are usually for strategic reasons and not products/services. $3.2 billion would greatly surpass its largest ever purchase of NeXT in 1997. That was about $400 million. That should put this purchase into perspective as Apple seems to be making a big play here.
I'm not sure this is really about headphones. My gut is Apple will maintain the Beats headphone/speaker empire just out of obligation to shareholder value. The bigger prize here is likely the people and streaming content. The Wall Street Journal reported that Iovine and Dre will take on senior positions at Apple. They will stay put in Los Angeles, however, so that suggests they wouldn't be a part of Apple's executive team. Likely they'll continuing running the Beats operation while probably being players for Apple with the entertainment industry.