Report: HTC and Google "in final stage of negotiation" regarding sale of smartphone business

Report: HTC and Google "in final stage of negotiation" regarding sale of smartphone business

It may sound like beating a dead horse, and at this point writing it certainly feels that way, but here goes: HTC is in very bad shape. This has been true for a while now, especially following the failure of the HTC 10, though we did for a while think its latest U11 was going to go at least some way towards fixing that problem.

But that obviously didn't happen, as proven by the Taiwanese phone maker's latest financials report showing August was its worst month in the past 13 years. Revenue dropped by 51.5 percent compared to last month and 54.3 percent from last August — ouch.

Or in other words, most of the people who were going to buy a U11 have already done so, and its popularity can only go downwards. Which is troubling, considering the company has no other recent devices in its repertoire (the Desire 555 is already unavailable for purchase, just a month and a half after its release).

But here's the most interesting part: it seems HTC is in "final stage of negotiation" with Google regarding a sale of its smartphone business. According to Chinese-language publication Commercial Times, Google is considering two separate options: either becoming a strategic partner, or outright buying the entire smartphone unit. However, HTC's Vive is off the table, and will remain separate from the search giant.

This doesn't exactly come as a surprise, given how last year's Google Pixel duo, as well as one of this year's Pixel 2 models, are all manufactured by HTC. However, even Google isn't satisfied by HTC's smartphone building prowess, as it turned to LG for its larger, full-screen Pixel 2 model.

So while such a sale would be a strategic one for the big G, it may ultimately prove to not be enough for the company to move its phone business in-house. Plus, let's never forget what happened the last time Google bought a smartphone company.

But even though the Commercial Times provided no source for its claims, shares for the company dropped by as much as 8 percent in a single day, which we imagine would make a potential sale even easier. Meanwhile, HTC itself acknowledged the claims but publicly declined to comment on the matter.

FEATURED VIDEO

46 Comments

1. TechGirl90 unregistered

OMG! :O

45. Highside

Posts: 197; Member since: Jan 31, 2017

HTC deserves to die for killing the slider QWERTY keyboard and removable battery. When you have nothing unique to offer, YOU DIE. The HTC Evo Shift was the best phone I ever had/ (for it's time)

46. aBoss

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 15, 2014

it seems all flag ships dont have removable battery now so almost all manufacturers sales are declining. Seriously, non removable battery is causing phones to blow up, sales to decline and consumers to lose trust. I wanted Note 8 to have removable battery, Fail and flop now?

2. legiloca

Posts: 1673; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Sad to see a pioneer manufacturer go :( loved my Desire Eye so much. Think HTC’s downfall started with the One M8 and its series of other Ones, One M9 with its widespread other Ones too, HTC 10 couldn’t patch the huge hole the other 2 flagships produced. The Deisre line barely made a dent, priced just as high as other mid rangers but those “mid rangers” are the likes of OnePlus, Honor, heck even ZTE Axon even if its an HTC lookalike made a huge impact on the market. HTC even made bad decisions this year too, releasing whatever that Desire phone, the DOA U Ultra/Play (and no even he Sapphire Edition fell flat on its face). Yes, the U11 is a beautiful and powerful phone but if am to point out anythhing, 1. Headphone jack. 2. Super LCD 5 again, 3. No Wireless charging, 4. No VR for you b*tch. HTC released awesome flagships but because of too many bad decisions they made, these flagships meant nothing and made almost nothing to cover up their mistakes :( I badly want HTC but.... they did this to themselves

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Long before that, after HTC Sensation XL. They are the first to follow Apple iPhone to have non-removable battery phone while the rest of the Android flagship still come with a removable battery. The non-removable battery that enough for me to say bye bye to HTC. HTC is very quick to implement plans that go against their fans. Once I start buying Samsung, I never return to the HTC brand before that I bought a series of HTC phones starting from their Windows Mobile era.

35. Tondern

Posts: 164; Member since: Feb 23, 2015

MY old HTC One X from 2012 also had a sealed battery. It became unusable after 1 year due to its tiny sealed battery and power hungry SoC, it had less than 2 hours of SOT.

3. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

HTC sucks, so this isn't that surprising.

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Sad to see the manufacturer of the first ever Android handset die like this... Life is cruel.

11. andynaija

Posts: 1230; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Exactly, I wish it wasn't like this at all. But I kind of hope Google will buy HTC and keep them alive since it's through HTC that Android has it's roots.

27. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

It would only be sad if this wasn't self-inflicted. I haven't bought another HTC device since the Rezound due to how the company had repeatedly screwed it's customers. Which is bad, considering some of my first devices were HTC. (XV6800, Tbolt, Rezound) However, HTC left them all for dead once they released them, so I quit HTC.

30. domfonusr

Posts: 960; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Sad to see this day almost here for HTC. Most likely, Google will take all the good patents out of HTC and then sell the rest to a Chinese OEM, like they did with Motorola. Eventually, all of the Android OEM's will go this way, except for Samsung, Huawei, and maybe a few more. There just isn't the money in Android sales to keep up with the industry, for most OEM's.

5. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 544; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

What is it with Google? Buying,selling,buying smartphone business.Wasting money,better use that money in giving Better designs,optical image stabilization & extended update support for Pixel phones.

14. Tech-shake

Posts: 195; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

While I do agree with you on the design and OIS parts, the update is totally out of google's hands. Google rely on Qualcomm to provide them with processors to power their devices. If Qualcomm doesn't push the necessary drivers to make android work on a device google can't push the update to that device. Qualcomm doesn't update their processors after 2-3 years of being in the market ( snapdragon 800/801 have already been no updated with the android N drivers and Qualcomm said it won't update them).

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5554; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Buying HTC's phone business gives them HTC's factories, developers, engineers, designers, support team, ... Which may potentially allow them to provide better designs, OIS, extended update support for Pixel phones, ... Google uses bigger sensors compared to most other OEMs I believe the HTC 10 and U Ultra are the only phone with 1/2.3" sensor and OIS (excluding Nokia's past phones) Only time will tell

6. kevin97

Posts: 90; Member since: Mar 01, 2016

Google ruined Motorola and sold it to the Chinese, now it will ruin HTC too.

9. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1058; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Google acquired Motorola primarily for the patents it held and they overpaid by quite a bit for that. Google didn't appear interested in building its own devices at the time, but I think they became frustrated with other manufacturers and lack of timely updates and wanted a more hands on approach, that's how the Pixel phones came to be. They ditched the Nexus concept and the stock Android and opted for an even more purely Google services phone. All of that didn't seem to have been put into motion until after they sold off Motorola. I do think taking production into their own hands is risky, but could be well worth it too, especially profitability wise. It let's them better compete with Apple and may even have something to do with Google's rumored interest in making its own specialized hardware for the future Pixel phones.

17. rebretz

Posts: 90; Member since: Dec 26, 2011

Motorola was ruined long before Google took over. At least under Google's leadership Motorola released two phones that critics loved but it was too little too late, Motorola had already began it's slide into irrelevance. Motorola was the last "major" manufacture to release one device across the big 4 carriers in the US and the rest of the world. Maybe HTC also actually. I remeber have the Droid RAZR HD and my wife had the HTC Droid DNA which were Verizon only phones. Instead of having a uniform design and only one "flagship" to worry about they had multiple phones on multiple carriers. They spread themselves thin, instead of being able to focus efforts on advertising for one phone brand they had to expend energy and resources for multiple ad campaigns.

7. rocker91

Posts: 86; Member since: Dec 09, 2016

It's still better than shutting down the phone business entirely HTC already lost the passion of phone making it had with the original desire series and one series

10. dnomadic

Posts: 346; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Well this is interesting... This will usher in a new era for Google, much like Apple's. They are building their own processor, to go with their own Software, and now there own phone manufacturing company... If this goes through the phone coming from Google should be amazingly smooth and efficient....and hopefully no more of this waiting game to buy a dang device.

36. Skizzo

Posts: 396; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

If Google buys HTC and begins manufacturing phones in-house, it could spell disaster for Android and partnership with other OEMs. OEMs like Samsung have been fearing Google's hunger and expansion for quite some time, and as Google keeps taking steps towards directly competing with other OEMs (Pixel) instead of being just a software partner, other OEMs will start slowly ditching Android as they will feel threatened and abandoned by Google in favour of its own phones. If you ever wondered why Samsung insists on spending so much on R&D of its own alternatives, and forcing it's own apps, app store, OS (Tizen), AI (Bixby) and a host of other things, it's because they are trying to break their dependence on Google, in preparation for Google inevitably becoming it's own best phone manufacturer, and essentially "doing the Apple thing." It'll be interesting to see what happens going forward it Google keeps pushing in this direction.

43. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Like what Microsoft is doing with their Surface lines. Hardware OEM doesn't have much say in these. In fact, they still pay Microsoft for Windows License. Google is giving Android to them for free. Plus Google Pixel line is no threat. The number of units sold is insignificant Google just wants to keep one of their toes in. In case, Microsoft or Samsung decided to fork Android. In that force, they could ramp up production and be the next Apple with hardware and software vertical integration.

12. androiduser

Posts: 498; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

First time i bought an htc phone (htc u11) and i f**king love it and i was hoping to keep buying htc phones in the future :(

13. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Wasnt it apple that crippled they potential when pattent war was so popular? If not chain off bad decisions and steady inovation. One does not rest on his laurels. Thats what happened after HTC Desire.

15. fyah_king unregistered

U11 is nice from the back but ugly from the front.

16. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3083; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Good decision. I hope Google won't screw them over like they did to Motorola.

34. Tondern

Posts: 164; Member since: Feb 23, 2015

Don't worry it'll be the same story again. Google will keep them for a year or two, then take their patents and throw them on the scrapyard. Even if HTC is unsellable in two years this is pocket change for Google and the patents alone will be worth it.

19. urbanrunner

Posts: 21; Member since: Sep 07, 2017

I bought a HTC U11, slipped out of my hand after 3 days of use, sent it to HTC for repairs. They told me 7 to 10 business days. Its been 9 weeks, and i have not got my phone back nor do i feel i will ever get it back. Multiple calls and online chats prove pointless. Even attacking on Twitter did not help my situation. I just want my phone back so i can get rid of it. Never will i purchase from HTC again.

24. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3083; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Try to reach to Aaron baker aka the phone dog guy. He now works for HTC. Go to his Twitter and reach out for him. I hope this helps.

20. urbanrunner

Posts: 21; Member since: Sep 07, 2017

if somebody anybody can get me assistance with getting my phone back or money back I would be very grateful, i fear i might have just got screwed over by HTC and i can do nothing.

21. Eclectech

Posts: 334; Member since: May 01, 2013

I am saddened at the thought of HTC going out of business. I hope they continue. I've owned the HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Hero, HTC Evo 4G, HTC Evo 4G LTE, HTC One M7, HTC One M8 and HTC 10 ...so I guess you can say I'm a fan.

Latest Stories