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Apple’s Beats acquisition ‘validated the premium headphone market’ says rival

Luke Johnson

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Beats

SMS Audio, the premium headphone line owned by Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, has defended Apple’s recent acquisition of Beats, claiming the move ‘validated’ an entire industry.

Despite Monster having yesterday filed a lawsuit over the deal, SMS, speaking at CES 2015, has predicted that Apple’s Beats takeover will have only positive effects on the wider industry.

According to SMS, the takeover has validated the premise of premium headphones not only within the industry, but with mainstream consumers as well.

With $300 headphones now considered an acceptable purchase by many, the headphone maker has even predicted further takeovers could follow as a result of Apple’s deal.

“The day that Apple announced the acquisition of Beats was a very happy day for us at SMS audio,” Jonathan Belson, SMS Audio’s Vice President of International Business Development said speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews.

The fact that a globally recognised company such as Apple acquired a company that didn’t even exist seven years ago provided so much validation and credibility to a category that was not even previously registered by official numbers on a reporting basis,” he stated.

Looking to the market growth expected to surround the fallout of the Beats deal, he added: “In the coming year, the headphone category is going to be over a $9 billion global business.”

What’s more, Belson has predicted Apple’s move could spark a similar acquisitions by the tech industry’s other leading players.

“I can’t wait for Google or Microsoft to buy SMS Audio for $3.2 billion either,” he said, only slightly tongue-in-cheek.

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According to Monster’s newly filed lawsuit, Apple’s Beats deal was a ‘sham’ sale.

While the audio specialist helped found and develop the Beats brand, the company was cast aside from the Beats entity less than a year before Apple’s $3.2 billion buyout.

Now, however, Monster has claimed Beats founders Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine are guilty of fraud for stealing the Beats headphone design. The company is seeking millions of dollars in damages.

Speaking with TrustedReviews last year, Monster CEO Noel Lee shared his slight annoyance with being cut from the takeover deal.

“For the first 5 years, until 2013, Monster was Beats, having developed engineered, and distrubted all of the Beats products,” he told us.

“We wish we could have partnered with companies like Apple and enjoyed some of the fruits of our labour, but our license with Beats ended with the purchase of Beats by HTC.”

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