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Google wants to save HTC, wagers big acquisition

by Justin Herrick | September 7, 2017September 7, 2017 9:00 am EST

The mobile industry could be on the verge of a massive acquisition being announced.

Google wants to immerse itself in hardware manufacturing, and HTC should probably get out of that business if its financial situation doesn’t get better very soon. The two companies, according to the Commercial Times, are in the final stages of completing a sale that would transfer HTC’s struggling mobile division to Google.

HTC’s revenue in August ($99 million) was its lowest in over a decade, the U11 is no longer talked about, and a second 2017 flagship isn’t rumored. Since the One (M8) from three years ago, the Taiwan-based company hasn’t been able to remain competitive against Samsung, LG, and Apple. Rather than letting a shutdown occur, Google is planning to make HTC an offer.

If the sale falls through, an agreement on being long-term strategic partners could be made.

History certainly indicates a high comfort level between Google and HTC. Both companies worked together on 2016’s Pixel, which ended up being one of the year’s best phones. HTC also produced the Nexus One in 2010 and the Nexus 9 in 2014. And this year the two are expected to be rejoining for the smaller Pixel 2 coming next month. While LG will make an entirely new device, HTC has been asked to upgrade the existing Pixel with modern specifications.

It wouldn’t be Google’s first time acquiring a partner. In 2011, the company spent more than $12 billion to purchase Motorola before selling it to Lenovo less than three years later for much less. That deal looked like Google wanted to revive a valuable brand while integration is the motivation for a potential deal with HTC.

There’s no hiding how eager Google is to race Apple in creating all the pieces of a phone. Over the years, Apple has added more of its own components to the iPhone and other devices. Google, meanwhile, has had to rely on its partners. But it is investing big money in getting unique technologies into new hardware. Still, Google needs to get its own patents and facilities to be the true Apple competitor it’s always dreamed of.

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...