Beats By Dre could be planning to buy out its partner HTC, which currently has a 25 per cent stake of the audio brand. Is this the start of the end for their relationship, which has seen Beats-branded smartphones released over the past few years?

It feels like just the other day that we announced the happy union between Beats and HTC in 2011. Despite the huge $300 million commitment from HTC, Beats now wants to buy back shares, using a new investor, with eyes on further growth and expansion separate from HTC.

HTC has been through tough times, struggling in the competitive smartphone market against the likes of Samsung, with the Beats perhaps not bringing the kudos to its devices that it sought.

Beats, meanwhile, has enjoyed successes with its audio products like the Beats Studio headphones we reviewed here, or the Beats Pill portable speaker reviewed here - as well as growing in-car audio and computer speakers.

With sources of The Wall Street Journal claiming Beats wants to buy HTC's 25 per cent share, the future doesn't look good for this tech marriage.

We questioned HTC on the rumour, but were told it had no comment at this time.