Ex-HTC design chief works on next-gen Beats headphones

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Apple Beats PowerBeats in red
A new head of design means Apple will offer plenty more headphones to follow these Beats PowerBeats.
Photo: Apple

The reports of Beats’ death are (reportedly) greatly exaggerated. Rather than phasing out the brand, as had been rumored, Apple put Scott Croyle, the former head of product design at phone-maker HTC, in charge of crafting new Beats headphones, according to an unconfirmed report.

Croyle was hired by Apple in April 2020. His Linkedin profile says only that he’s a Director, with no other details.

But on Friday 9to5Mac reported that Croyle was brought on board “specifically to oversee Beats product design.” And new products are on the way. “A source with knowledge of Beats design work tells us that the team has been actively studying speakers from other brands that are available today, and headphones are a focus, naturally,” writes 9to5Mac.

An expert in product design

Croyle was HTC’s Senior Vice President of Design and User Experience for over 5 years, starting in 2008. During that time, HTC went from making smartphones for other companies to releasing them under its own brand.

He says of himself, “I work tirelessly to harness the creativity of the people around me to create great consumer products that people form an emotional connection [with].”

Apple Beats is (not) gone

Beats was purchased by Apple in 2014, and the iPhone-maker kept the brand. But there were predictions of doom for Beats in spring of 2020. Apple tipster Jon Prosser said it would be replaced in the product lineup by headphones bearing the Apple brand.

“They’re building up the Apple/AirPods product line — THEN they will phase out Beats in favor of the finished lineup,” Prosser tweeted at the time. And Apple did release premium headphones as AirPods Max in 2020, not Beats.

But if Friday’s unconfirmed report is correct, Beats isn’t going anywhere.