Beats launches first new product under Apple, the Pill+

Beats has unveiled its first official new product sinces its acquisition by Apple, portable Bluetooth speaker the Pill+

Beats has launched the Pill+, its first official new product since joiningApple last year.

The Beats Pill+ features the same acoustic mechanics found in professional recording studios, the company claims, with repositioned control buttons now located on the top of the speaker. It can be managed through a new iOS and Android Pill+ app, or through laptop or other Bluetooth enabled device.

The new Bluetooth speaker is slightly larger than its Beats Pill predecessor, and can last up to 12 hours on a single charge, the company claims. Like the Pill, two Pill+ units can be synced together for louder audio, and it comes in a choice of black or white.

While the Pill+ is the first official product launch since the deal, Beats released the Powerbeats 2 Wireless update to the Powerbeats line last June, and Solo2 wireless headphones, a wireless version of the Solo2 on-ear headphones, last November.

The new speaker takes the place in the speaker lineup of the Beats Pill XL, which Apple issued a voluntary recall for in June over fears the battery may overheat and cause a fire.

The Beats Pill XL can be identified by the Beats “b” logo on the speaker grille and the words “beats pill XL” on the handle, Apple said. The product is sold in five different shades: black, metallic sky, pink, titanium and white.

Apple purchased Beats’ headphones and music streaming divisions in May 2014 for $3bn (£1.8bn), the largest acquisition Apple has made to date, dwarfing the $404m it paid for NeXT in 1996.

The Pill+ also comes in white

The company launched its new streaming and digital radio service Apple Music at the end of June, which replaced Beats Music. Around 11m users signed up to the service within its first five weeks, but Apple now faces the challenge of pursuading them to continue paying £9.99 per month once their three-month free trial has expired.

Beats is the current sales leader in the NPD Group’s wireless category with its portfolio of Bluetooth headphones and speakers, according to industry analyst Ben Arnold.

“Bluetooth continues to be a primary driver of growth in the wireless audio market, as Bluetooth headphones and speakers have grown 57 percent year to date,” he said. “The increase in sales indicates consumers value having a premium audio experience along with the convenience of wireless.”

UK pricing has yet to be announced, but the speaker will retail at $229.95 in the US through Apple’s website and Beats retailers.

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