July 2008 - born of infamy The Beats by Dr. Dre headphones got everything started. Manufactured by Monster Cable, a company that already had a reputation for “premium” products that didn’t match their own hype, this set of cans didn’t inspire the warmest of critical receptions. It was priced at a shade under $350 and relied on a bombastic launch campaign and Dr. Dre’s notoriety to sell. What matters is that it did, helped in no small part by Apple itself, which sold the Beats headphones in its online and retail stores. September 2009 - Lady Gaga's Heartbeats "Beats by Dre and Monster have teamed up with pop music and fashion icon Lady Gaga to bring you Heart Beats." From the moment they were announced, these in-ear buds signaled a manifestly different way for promoting audio gear: they were more about fashion and aspiration than sound quality. Lady Gaga led the way in associating her brand image with that of Beats — something that many … [Read more...] about The epic visual history of Beats by Dre
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None of which is to say that acquiring Beats is conventional for Apple. For starters, it’s expensive: the company’s largest acquisition to date, NeXT, was for $400 million in 1996 and gave Apple the core of an operating system it still uses today. (It also returned to Apple Steve Jobs himself, who had founded NeXT after departing Apple in the 1980s.) The Beats acquisition would put Apple in the unusual position of managing a consumer brand not its own — and raising difficult questions about whether to keep the existing music service and, if so, on which platforms. How Beats will — or will not — integrate into Apple will be one of the most closely watched aspects of the merger agreement. … [Read more...] about What Apple is really buying with Beats
Some have also speculated that Apple is simply buying Beats to replenish its "cool factor." That might be partially true. Apple products have gotten a little boring, allowing rivals like Samsung to become increasingly popular. It’s easy to look back to when the iPod was dominant, white earbuds everywhere, and say that Apple is trying to recapture that market. But Apple doesn’t need to buy cool, because Apple’s brand isn’t weak. In fact, it’s at the very top of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands list for 2013, with brand value ahead of Google, Coca-Cola, IBM, and Microsoft. White earbuds are also quite alive and well. Walking the downtown streets of San Francisco and the Caltrain commuter rail, I saw one, two, three, four, eight sets of Beats in all. But I also saw 84 sets of Apple earbuds. … [Read more...] about What if Apple bought Beats not for headphones, but wearables?
Zynn is fully a TikTok clone. The core interface is identical, and both are oriented around watching short portrait-orientation videos. The big distinction is a countdown timer with a dollar sign in the middle that hovers over every video on Zynn. As you watch videos, the timer fills up and gives you points, which you’re supposed to be able to redeem later as cash or gift cards. I haven’t tested to see if this works, but a couple of people have posted YouTube videos showing payment receipts. … [Read more...] about A new TikTok clone hit the top of the App Store by paying users to watch videos