On the streaming side alone, the investment has paid off. Apple has cemented itself as a key player in the most popular way people now listen to music.
Of course, Beats has that massive headphone and speaker business — it’s not all about turning Beats Music into Apple’s own service. After joining Apple, the company would release new headphones, but the fruits of the relationship didn’t blossom until fall 2016. As part of the iPhone 7 reveal, Beats announced that it had three new headphone options in the works. All three would feature the W1 chip that powered Apple’s own true wireless AirPods.
Apple had benefited from Beats’ streaming service, and now Beats headphones were benefiting from Apple’s engineering smarts. The company would follow up a year later with a fourth model that leveraged the power of the W1 chip: the noise-canceling Studio3 Wireless.
The behind the scenes story of this purchase will likely never be known but it was fascinating at the time and continues to bring up a lot of questions as to why Apple is working Beats the way they are. But there’s no doubt it is hugely successful, regardless of your thoughts about the product itself.