Last week rumors emerged that smartphone manufacturer HTC is in talks to buy MOG, which is sort of the also-ran online music service after Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody and Rdio. However, MOG is frequently considered having the highest fidelity of these services.
That aspect would appear to be the most attractive to HTC which owns a majority stake in the designer headphones company Beats by Dr. Dre. Although some audiophiles may quibble, a set of Beats ‘phones is a major improvement over the white earbuds included with and iPhone. So it makes sense that HTC would want to pair up with the music service with the reputation for better sound quality.
The story gets more interesting with the news that surfaced yesterday indicating that HTC is probably working on their own portable music player that would compete with the iPod Touch. Such a device would be particularly interesting if HTC puts a real focus on audio quality, perhaps with an amplifier tuned for even higher fidelity than an iPhone or iPod, particularly with a pair of Beats headphones.
As HTC and other Android smartphone and tablet manufacturers know, it’s difficult to compete head-on with Apple. But I do think there is room to carve out a niche with consumers who are interested in higher sound quality. While older audiophiles often cry that the MP3 revolution has created a generation that doesn’t care about fidelity, I think the success of Beats headphones demonstrates there is healthy demand for higher sound quality.
The fact that Apple does not have its own on-demand audio or radio service would give HTC an advantage if it can offer MOG at a reasonable price, or possibly bundled with a service package.
I have an HTC EVO smartphone that I use for work, and I must point out that it even includes an FM receiver, something that no Apple device has. I’ve used the radio feature more than I thought I would, finding it especially handy when I have limited data or wi-fi service and am tired of the music I have loaded. I would strongly suggest HTC add FM to its planned music player. That would be cool.
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