As far as owners/investors go, HTC is proving itself to be a very gracious one. The company invested a whopping $300 million into the Beats by Dr. Dre brand, giving it majority control of the hardware and software produced. HTC promised to run the company as a separate enterprise while taking advantage of its audio expertise, and lo and behold, it has. HTC announced today that it intends to open up the Beats APIs for third-party developers to use in their apps.
In HTC's words, the company will "allow third-party developers to harness the potential of Beats Audio and bring that top-notch audio experience to their own apps." That's great news for developers of music apps and services, not to mention anyone who owns one of the high-end HTC handsets that feature Beats Audio, like the Sensation XL. Previously Beats integration had been limited to specially-coded first party music apps.
HTC has been investing a lot lately: in addition to the Beats purchase, they bought a stake in online game streaming company OnLive and bought the kid-friendly browser developer Inquisitive Minds. Like Beats, HTC has said that they'll integrate their partners' services into their smartphones and tablets while still operating them like independent companies, a tactic that has served Amazon well in its own acquisitions. The forthcoming Beats APIs are a promising start to this strategy, and a good indication that non-HTC owners will continue to enjoy the services of Beats, Inquisitive Minds and OnLive.