Apple shut down a project to build a Wi-Fi speaker for the home when it acquired headphone manufacturer Beats in 2014, Variety reports.
Beats had a number of upcoming devices that it was working on when it was acquired by Apple in May 2014. But it doesn’t look like any of those ideas will see the light of day.
One of the devices that Beats was working on was a $US750 home speaker that connected to music streaming services via Wi-Fi. Variety describes the speaker as a “Sonos killer” that could have seriously hurt rival home speaker company Sonos.
The Beats speaker was going to include NFC technology, which could have meant that your home speakers could detect your presence and start playing music when you enter the room. However, Variety says Beats ran into problems with the device during development and ended up switching chip supplier. That could be a major reason why Apple shut down the project.
It appears that Apple used the Beats acquisition to increase its hardware portfolio, adding Beats headphones and products to its stores, as well as tapping into the company’s music industry knowledge for its own music streaming service.
Apple announced at its WWDC conference earlier this month that it will launch Apple Music on June 30, and former Beats executive Jimmy Iovine came on stage to introduce the service. It uses elements of the Beats Music streaming service, and insiders told us in February that Apple was using Iovine’s connections in the music industry to lure artists to the platform.