Apple’s reported acquisition of Beats Electronics for the tidy sum of $3.2 billion mightn’t have been officially confirmed as yet, but if new information out of Japan is to be considered, it looks very much as though Apple does indeed want to increase its interest in the audio market. Apparently, the Cupertino company is looking to bake high definition (HD) audio playback into its upcoming iOS 8 software, which would also see the company introduce a higher fidelity, “HD-ready” Lightning connector and improved in-ear headphones to match.

The Beats deal was a big eye-opener, no less because Apple doesn’t tend to make the headlines with big-name acquisitions. But in Beats, the Mac maker would accumulate a war-chest of audio products spanning headphones and speakers, as well as a digital music streaming service to compete with the likes of Spotify, and since Apple is weak in all of these areas, the value of gaining Beats is potentially significant.

According to a report from Macotakara, Apple already has specific ideas about how it wants to improve its audio game, with some big enhancements lined up for the soon-to-be-announced iOS 8. iTunes will apparently be subject to an overhaul, and while HD streaming will be a part of the deal, it has also been known for a while that Shazam’s song-detection tech will be integrated with iOS 8 and Siri.

The HD streaming will be accompanied by improved in-hear headphones, while the new Lightning connector would ensure seamless playback on MFi devices and peripherals.

Just when any of these products and services will be announced, however, is currently unknown. We had initially suspected that some of the big changes Apple is planning would be announced at June’s Worldwide Developers Conference and rolled out alongside the next iPhone, although recent reports indicate that a chunk of the new features may not make it out to the end user until a subsequent iOS 8.1 update has been prepared.

Beats Apple

Whatever  the case may be, it’s clear that the supposed purchase of Beats Electronics is more than just a vanity acquisition, and that Apple is very serious about upping the ante and offering music fans a superior hardware and software experience that, so far, has been lacking.

(Source: Macotakara [Google Translate])

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