About That Apple-Beats Deal

Yinka Adegoke, writing for Billboard:

When news broke on Thursday May 8 that Apple was in talks to buy Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre’s Beats Electronics for a shocking $3.2 billion the deal’s closure seemed imminent. In fact Billboard’s sources repeatedly said late that day, the transaction would be announced the following Monday… “Tuesday, latest.”

Well, Monday and Tuesday passed and we were assured the deal would actually be announced early this week. By early this week we were told it would now be announced next week. We, like other outlets, have been reassured the deal is happening…or as close to definitely happening as any source is willing to say given they’re speaking on background.

That they’ve been so wrong thus far makes me disinclined to believe anything Billboard (or The Financial Times, or The Wall Street Journal, or anyone else who reported the deal as imminent back on May 8) reports about it now.

Among the reasons Adegoke cites for the delay:

Apparently, the Apple family near imploded with outrage when that video went up on Facebook of an ‘excited’ Dr. Dre with R&B singer/former Coca Cola pin-up Tyrese. In the video they share, in language perhaps unsuitable for a family blog, how Dre will be hip-hop’s first billionaire and other nice things about Compton. People often forget that despite Apple being this company that makes sexy products, with sexy profit margins, and sexy retail outlets… it is not in fact a very sexy company. It is a conservative company, particularly without the leadership of its guiding light Steve Jobs who would shake things up massively on a daily basis.

Steve Jobs did not “shake things up massively on a daily basis”, and my guess is, he would have been more pissed off than anyone at Apple about Beats’ leaking of the deal to the press. And it seems pretty clear that that’s what happened. It wasn’t Apple that leaked, it was Beats, and their leaking it might have scuttled the deal.

One thing’s for sure: Apple is suffering a crisis of confidence right now and they could do with a pair who help them to “Think Different”.

Anyone who thinks “Apple is suffering a crisis of confidence right now” doesn’t understand Apple at all. No wonder Billboard has botched the story on this acquisition.

Friday, 23 May 2014