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Apple’s latest hire shows it still has big plans for Beats

With AirPods Pro, AirPods Max and HomePod mini now at the centre of Apple’s audio ambitions, many have wondered about whether the classic Beats brand will get as much love from the company moving forward. There’s even been rumours the company plans to put the Beats by Dre brand out to pasture.

However, a recent hire could be breathing new rhythm into Beats, which hasn’t seen much in the way of big improvements in years – aside from the excellent PowerBeats Pro true wireless sports earphones.

According to a 9to5Mac report, former HTC design chief Scott Croyle, who joined Apple in an unspecified role in April 2020, is working on new Beats products. According to the sources familiar with the matter, he is the first person Apple has appointed to design Beats products in-house.

The report says Apple still plans to use the design firm Ammunition to design Beats products, but Croyle will now be Apple’s point man on the new buds and cans. It’s not clear what his other responsibilities are, but this is certainly intriguing appointment for long-time fans of those bass-heavy Beats headphones you seem to see less and less these days.

So what? You may think. Well, at one point Croyle was considered HTC’s equivalent of Apple design chief Sir Jonathan Ive. He was responsible for the industrial design of some classic Android phones like the HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 phones, most notably. Not exactly a lightweight, eh?

Analysis – March to your own Beats, Apple

Beats could certainly use a new look for its over-ear headphones and Croyle could well be the man to breathe new life into the range. Apple would probably rather you buy AirPods, but Beats is still a billion dollar brand that sits in an awkward and unique place within the Apple structure. Maybe now’s the time to properly leverage it and forge a new path forward and reclaim its place among the best headphones around.

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