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HTC sells its final stake in Beats for £164m

HTC has flogged its final stake in Beats, and will no longer use the audio tech in its phones.

And that is that. HTC has sold back its final 25 per cent stake in audio company Beats, and washed its hands of the matter, The Wall Street Journal reports.

HTC sold back its majority stake about a year ago. It initially spent $300 million on the deal, then sold back its majority stake for $150 million. Considering it charged $265 million (£164 million) for this last 25 per cent, it's come out of it $115 million better off. Which isn't too shabby at all. If only HTC wasn't in such a dire financial state overall.

So why didn't the deal work out? Apparently there were disagreements over strategy and investment direction, according to people familiar with the matter. It's doubtful the Beats tech helped HTC flog many more phones, too.

But it won't be the last we've heard of Beats. The company wants to grow in the portable speaker market, as well as install its audio tech into cars and laptops. It's also developing a streaming service (codenamed 'Daisy') to take on Pandora and Spotify. It even has a new investor waiting in the wings, one Carlyle Group.

Apple was in talks with Beats about Daisy initially, but the two companies didn't see eye to eye. Apple subsequently launched iTunes Radio.

It's an interesting time for HTC. It's facing its first quarterly loss since it went public in 2002. In an attempt to turn things around, it's enlisted Robert Downey Jr. to front an ad campaign proclaiming 'Here's To Change'.

It's a shame, really. I've always liked HTC's handsets -- though I wasn't sold on the Beats tech -- and the HTC One is still one of the best Android smarties around. Let's hope this extra bit of cash can go towards producing more products like it, instead of silly marketing phrases. Hold This Cat, indeed.

The HTC One Max is tipped to launch in a couple of weeks. Hopefully that will help turn things around for the company. 

Will you miss Beats tech from HTC's handsets? Let me know in the comments, or sing us a song over on our Facebook page.