Rumor: Apple to buy Beats by Dre for $3.2 billion

Yeah, I don't really get this either. According to multiple unofficial reports, Apple is on the verge of making a $3.2-billion bid for Beats Electronics, the firm behind Beats by Dre headphones and the Beats Music streaming service.

Reuters claims Apple and Beats are "still hashing out details," and there's a chance the deal might not happen. However, Apple is said to be "in the market for a subscription-based music service." Also, the company has over $130 billion burning a hole in its pocket.

A related story by Forbes sheds a little more light on Apple's potential reasoning here. The story points out that Beats "holds patents on certain software technology," has had its headphones prominently featured in Apple's retail stores "almost since their invention," and claims a 51% share of the premium headphone market. Forbes adds that the Beats Music streaming service "offers a much more thorough—and successful—social experience than iTunes."

I suppose that makes sense. Then again, the success of Beats Music seems to have fallen short of the hype. Last month, Billboard reported that the service's first 100 days had been a "disappointment," with unofficial sources estimating a subscriber base in the "low six figures." iTunes, by comparison, had "almost 800 million" subscribers as of two weeks ago, according to Digital Trends.

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