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Dr Dre could join Apple if Beats buy takes place, report says

Apple is after more than just headphones in its rumoured multibillion-dollar acquisition of Beats, according to a report suggesting Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine might join the tech giant.

Beats headphone head honcho Dr Dre (left) celebrates with musician and actor Tyrese Gibson.
Tyrese Gibson/Facebook

Apple wouldn't forget about Dre, would it? Rapper-turned-headphone mogul Dr Dre and his partner Jimmy Iovine are reported to be the targets of the fruit-flavoured technology giant's rumoured multibillion-dollar bid to buy can-manufacturer Beats.

Dr Dre hinted at the acquisition by anointing himself the " first billionaire in hip-hop", but of course no actual deal has yet been officially confirmed. Meanwhile, the latest whispers suggest Apple is after more than the headphone hardware made by Beats.

"They want Jimmy and they want Dre," a "well-placed source" is reported to have told TechCrunch, because the good doctor has "got fashion and culture completely locked up".

The same source says the deal is now "70 percent certain" to go through, despite having run into trouble a few times.

Previously there has been speculation that Apple wants Iovine to run some kind of video business, but it's not clear what role Dre would play at Apple if he does go from Compton to Cupertino. Apple may well feel they have something to learn from the pair: even if you're not a fan of Beats hardware, it's impossible to deny there's been some shrewd business acumen behind building the popular brand from nothing in just a few short years.

Beats was founded in 2006 by Dre and Iovine with the help of headphone manufacturer Monster. When Beats was sold to HTC in 2013, Monster failed to lock up any rights to later Beats products and is therefore unlikely to see a dime from the $3.2 billion Apple deal.

Beats is also being sued by Steven Lamar, who claims he brought the idea for Beats to Lovine, and by the company's former CEO David Hyman.

Neither Apple nor Beats have yet to respond to a request for comment.