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September 8, 2017

Google reportedly in final stages of buying HTC’s smartphone business

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If Google buys HTC’s smartphone business, we could see a whole lot more Pixel phones, and a whole lot less HTC ones.

The Google Pixel was one of the best-loved phones of 2016, and according to recent reports, it looks like the company could be set to seriously bolster its smartphone business. How? By buying someone else’s smartphone business. According to a recent report, from Commercial Times, Google and HTC have entered the final stages of discussions that could ultimately lead to Google buying out HTC’s smartphone business.

It’s important to note that Google won’t buy HTC as a whole — just its smartphone business. The HTC brand will still live on, and the report noted that the company may refocus its attention on virtual reality after selling off its mobile arm.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Google has made such a purchase. The company bought out Motorola back in 2012 for a whopping $12.5 billion, and at the time it was suspected that the company could end up merging the Android and Motorola teams. In the end, that didn’t happen — and instead, a few years later, Google sold the Motorola brand to Lenovo at a pretty huge loss.

This time around, however, things could be different. Google has been shifting its focus of late, and could now accurately be considered a consumer electronics brand. That’s thanks to the launch of the Pixel phones, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wi-Fi router, and other products.

So what will happen if Google does end up buying HTC? Well, we don’t know. It’s possible that the HTC mobile team will end up simply developing more Pixel phones, and the HTC name as a smartphone brand will die out. If that happens, we should expect more than one Pixel-branded phone each year. It’s also possible that at least in the short-term, HTC-branded smartphones will continue to be released.

It does make sense that HTC is selling its smartphone business. According to reports from DigiTimes, HTC’s August revenue hit a 13-year low. That’s pretty major — 13 years ago, Android didn’t exist and the iPhone was in very early development. In other words, if Google doesn’t end up buying the HTC smartphone business, it’s very possible that someone else will.

It may take a few months before we hear any official news. Having said that, a final decision could be made before the end of the year.

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