Following years of disappointing financial results, new reports claim that HTC is selling off its ailing smartphone business to Google. The deal is said to be in the “final stages of negation,” according to Taiwanese news site Commercial Times.
Six years ago, HTC was ranked as the fourth best-selling smartphone OEM in the world, boasting a market share of around 9 percent. But the company has fallen from that lofty position in recent times. Its August revenues were at their lowest in 13 years, as sales decreased 51.5 percent from the previous month and 54.4 percent YoY. It seems the impressive HTC U11 just wasn’t enough to turn the company’s fortunes around.
The report states Google is considering two courses of action: either buy HTC’s entire smartphone business, or become its strategic partner. Considering that they have teamed up on several occasions in the past, Google may likely choose the latter option. It's worth remembering that after manufacturing both the Pixel and Pixel XL, HTC is also said to be behind the upcoming Google Pixel 2 (LG is thought to be producing the Pixel XL 2).
Buying the segment outright, however, means the search giant would have the option of building its own hardware rather than turning to other firms, which would save money and give it more control.
HTC’s Vive business isn’t part of the Google deal, though reports from last month said the company is exploring a sale of its virtual reality subsidiary.
The Commercial Times never cited a source in its report, so the claims should be taken with a grain of salt. But the news has already caused HTC’s shares to drop by 8 percent.