The partnership between Google and HTC runs so deep that it appears that Google may be looking to either invest in or purchase, HTC’s mobile division. The report comes after HTC posted its lowest revenue totals in 13 years, coming in around $99.69 million, a decline of more than 50% when compared to the same time frame in 2016.
HTC and Google began their interesting relationship all the way back in 2008 with the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream). This was the first-ever “Google Phone” and since then, we have seen such a dramatic change in the market, as well as HTC’s position in the market. Since 2008, there were a few years where Google sourced its Nexus devices to other OEM’s, but came back together with the launch of the Nexus 9 tablet.
Fast forward to last year, and we saw Google’s shift away from the Nexus line, with a launch of the HTC-manufactured Pixel and Pixel XL. As for 2017, it seems that Google is sticking with HTC for its standard Pixel 2 while sourcing LG for the larger Pixel 2 XL.
While specific details regarding the latest rumors are scarce, it’s said that Google and HTC are in the “final stage of negotiations” regarding the latter selling off its mobile division. What’s unclear is whether these negotiations are strictly an investment on Google’s part, or if Google is looking to purchase the mobile division altogether.
Despite these reports coming as somewhat of a surprise, it’s not exactly unprecedented. If you remember (I surely didn’t), Google acquired Motorola back in 2011 for $12.5 billion, before selling it to Lenovo in 2014 for a (relatively) mere $2.91 billion. The primary reason for the purchase was the access to various patents that Motorola held, bringing new features to our mobile devices, and baking in options such as Active Display into stock Android.
It’s possible that this could be a similar move by Google, as HTC may have some patents that Google wants to get its hands on, but this will still be unclear until after the deal is completed. On the bright side, if Google actually acquires the HTC mobile division, maybe we’ll get to see more exciting Pixel devices in the future.
Additionally, over the last few months, we have heard rumors that HTC is looking to sell its Vive virtual reality division, and this deal has nothing to do with that, as Google only wants the mobile division to stay afloat. With the HTC U11 quickly being forgotten after the launch of the likes of the Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, and others, sales have plummeted.
We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes and ears close to the ground on this one, as it would be rather interesting to see what Google has working behind the scenes. Be sure to let us know what you think about this latest report and how it would affect future Pixel devices.