During a CNBC panel discussion discussing Apple’s possible acquisition of Beats Electronics – manufacturers of the ubiquitous Beats headphones – for a reported $3.2 billion, a white host of the show attempted to explain to an African-America analyst that Apple was attempting to purchase “hip hop, African-American cool.”
Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, technology analyst Jon Fortt questioned the purchase, admitting that “Apple can maybe afford to waste some money,” before adding that “Apple doesn’t buy brands generally.”
“Arguments against… let me skip down there. Apple doesn’t buy brands; especially not hardware brands,” he explained. “It dilutes their own brand. There’s actually potential negative value here.”
“These headphones aren’t products that Apple would make themselves..” Fortt continued before being interrupted by host Simon Hobbs who described the purchase of the company — most closely associated with hip hop producer and entrepreneur Dr. Dre – as having a “hip hop, African-American cool.”
“Hang on, hang on. The company exists because Apple’s headphones were so bad. That’s the gap in the market,” Hobbs said as Fortt attempted to explain to him that Apple has “never done anything but earbuds.”
Hobbs continued on: “I find myself in a very odd situation. Don’t you think there’s a hip hop, African-American cool about this? That Apple may not have achieved in other ways?”
Fortt can be heard laughing off-screen before responding, “Apple is a global brand. It doesn’t need to acquire hip hop, African-American cool.”
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Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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