Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer, HTC, is said to be in the final stages of negotiation with search engine giant, Google for the sale of its smartphone business.
The news was first reported by Chinese-language newspaper, Commercial Times and then picked up by English-language site Digitimes. According to the article, Google is considering becoming a strategic partner or buying out HTC's smartphone business. It also states that any deal will not involve HTC's Vive VR business or the company as a whole.
The move comes after HTC reported its lowest consolidated revenues for 13 years; NT$3 billion, or $99.69m for August, 51.5% down on the previous month.
The two companies already have history of working together, with HTC manufacturing hardware for Google, including this month’s next-generation Pixel smartphone.
We Called It!
Rumours that HTC was looking at selling part of its business began with a Bloomberg report that the Taiwanese firm would strip off and sell its Vive division. But as we’d already reported on TheVirtualReport.biz in March that HTC would sell its Shanghai smartphone factory, we suggested that the more likely scenario would be for HTC to sell its smartphone business to capitalise on its early-move advantage in VR.
In a recent Focal Point discussion one of our expert panel, Dean Johnson, went a step further saying, “Google needs to buy HTC (it probably already has), killing the phones and keeping the patents, then increasing budgets, platform breadth and personality for the Vive”.
It’s not a done deal yet – as far as we know – but all the information points to the news being confirmed soon.