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Did Apple kill off Beats multi-room Sonos rival?

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Beats Pill 2.0

Apple axed Beats’ development of a Sonos-rivalling wireless speaker ecosystem, a new report suggests.

It’s claimed that the Apple-owned company hoped to enter the multi-room sector with a range of new products in a report by Variety.

According to the article, Beats wanted to release a large wireless speaker for the living room, with smaller speakers destined for the kitchen and bedroom.

The large speaker was due to launch late last year, but reportedly scrapped after Apple acquired Beats in a $3 billion deal last May.

It’s alleged that many of the wireless system engineers have since left the company, while others have “been shuffled to other projects.”

The audio giant wanted to get a step above other speaker manufacturers by mimicking Sonos’ fluid, synchronised music playback.

The company was also working on combining Bluetooth with Wi-Fi and NFC to allow for seamless handovers, effectively making it possible to launch music playback as soon as you’d enter the room,” the report explains.

Instead of partnering with semiconductor manufacturers for the wireless internals however, Beats reportedly opted to develop a wireless chip in-house.

The article claims that Beats ran into issues trying to develop a chip from scratch, which led Apple to “scrap the project.”

Related: Apple Music vs Spotify

Apple bought up Beats last year, but the audio company’s product line has since remained pretty stagnant, with only reworked offerings of existing lines released.

This latest report seems to be further evidence that Apple picked up Beats primarily for the music streaming service.

Apple unveiled its own music streaming service, Apple Music, just last week, with the new service due to launch at the end of June.

Would you have liked to see a Sonos-esque Beats audio system? Let us know in the comments.

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