HTC may be a majority stakeholder in Beats Audio and is definitely not stepping back from integrating the brand and functionality into its smartphones, but the company will no longer be including Beats headphones along with its smartphone products. HTC's acting president, North America Region, Martin Fichter, told CNET that "an accessory like the headphone doesn't factor in when someone is buying a smartphone," and so it doesn't make much sense to bundle them in.

We imagine that including higher priced headphones puts quite a hit on the already slim margins on smartphones, so the move isn't really a surprise. Fichter reiterated that Beats technology would continue in the handsets themselves and wouldn't commit to never bundling headphones again, but for the time being Beats fans will need to bring their own buds, cans, or portable speakers.