September 08, 2017

Google plans to buy HTC’s smartphone business

by Neha Monga

According to a report from Chinese publication Commercial Times, Google is reportedly planning to acquire Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC’s smart phone business. HTC’s phone business has been struggling for last few quarters with plummeting profits and falling revenue and reported losses for the 9th consecutive quarter in August 2017.

However, it’s not clear yet whether Google is planning to become a strategic partner with HTC or plans to buy its entire smartphone business. The report also suggests that HTC’s Vive virtual reality business is unlikely to be a part of this deal.

HTC, which has posted its lowest revenue in over a decade on Thursday was once one of the most popular smartphone makers in the US. However, the company could not continue its foothold on most of the carrier store shelves due to consecutive unsuccessful smartphones launches.

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If the deal comes through, it would be Google’s second such acquisition after $12.5 billion Motorola buyout in 2012. After booking losses on the Motorola smartphone division for 2 years it was later sold off to Lenovo for just 2.91 billion dollars in 2014.

HTC’s smartphones come with a great hardware, build quality and audio capabilities however the company lacks the brand value and marketing prowess that the search engine Google can provide it. According to the reports, Google’s desire to “perfect [the] integration of software, content, hardware, network, cloud, [and] AI,” is the driving force behind Google’s interest.  Acquiring HTC’s smartphone business might help Google streamline the process of creating new Pixel phones and give it a bit more of an edge to compete with the likes of the iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S8’s of the world.

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