While we knew HTC is considering a sale of its smartphone division, with Google being among the prospective buyers, a new report is claiming the acquisition plans to have entered the last round already. Google and HTC however are yet to comment on the latest report.
HTC has seen its fortunes deplete steadily over the years and is nowhere near what it used to be several years back. With brand value eroding fast along with sales of even its most recent flagship phone, the U11, a possible sale of its smartphone unit is perhaps the most logical conclusion that HTC can aim for. However, what is not known at the moment is whether Google will go for complete acquisition of HTC’s smartphone business or whether it will remain content making only a strategic investment in the company.
Among the possible factors that Google might be weighing in before going for any sort of conclusion on this is its earlier acquisition of Motorola. Google had acquired Motorola back in 2012 but sold it off just two years later to Lenovo for just a fraction.
For HTC, things had just started to somewhat look bright post the launch of its U11 flagship phone. Sales too were above average before peaking in July though it went for a sharp decline just a month later. In fact, its August 2017 sales have emerged to be the worst it has had in more than a dozen years, or 13 years to be precise. The decline happens to be a sizeable 51 percent compared to its July 2017 sales and an even bigger 54 percent compared to sales in August 2016.
Apart from a complete buyout, another option for Google will be to go for some sort of a tie-up with HTC. Google already enjoys a strong relationship with the Taiwanese company with the latter also manufacturing the smaller of the two second gen Pixel 2 phones.
While it is true Google has some long-term ambitions with its Pixel range and has even shown interest in designing custom chips for its future handsets, it remains to be seen how it wishes to deal with the manufacturing part of it. Acquiring HTC’s smartphone business is always an options though given its failed Motorola acquisition, it might also consider making only an investment to get its phone produced whenever it needs them.
HTC meanwhile is slightly better off with its VR division exemplified with the Vive headset. However, the Vive VR segment is not believed to be up for grabs at the moment though it did figure in earlier reports as being up for sale as well.