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.

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46 Comments

44. NoAllegiance unregistered

Glad Sony is still afloat, would be really sad if they were to go. HTC, not so much, they kept on making silly decisions and marketing blunders. At least I could say I owned HTC devices when they were in their prime.

41. jonathanfiuwx

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 10, 2017

first smartphone was an HTC mogul, still have an m9 but its sad the company flopped

40. NINJER

Posts: 16; Member since: Aug 23, 2017

Nothing very high tech at the high tech company, they shall now be renamed average tech company.

39. ebilcake

Posts: 1234; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

They produced some nice phones but they were always overpriced or missing key features. I won't miss HTC.

37. whatev

Posts: 2476; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Next year they will sell it to a Chinese brand as they did with Motorola, statistically acquisitions don’t work, the acquirer rip-off the purchased company and then dishes it as we have seen with many other examples in the past

33. Gadgetex

Posts: 201; Member since: Nov 10, 2013

They deserve it, not surprising. They had horrible arrogant people that ran that company. They hired a bunch of foreign workers in Taiwan and in the end they would not listen to them and only did things their way in the end which as we can see now was a disaster.

31. Vagabondjonez

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

I said this years ago.

29. jacky899

Posts: 434; Member since: May 16, 2017

Of the few people that I know who owned HTC flagship phones really love their phones and have no complaints. Most of the people who own Samsung phones have many complaints and issues with their phones. Even Iphone users occasionally have issues with their phones. However, I read so much hate on the comments towards HTC, most likely by people who never even used an HTC phone. It's interesting that HTC with such good user experience, hardly anyone even know about the brand or care to buy it. Hopefully Google can make good use of HTC and turn it around. We need more competition than just Apple and Samsung.

28. ryq24

Posts: 877; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Is Sony next?

32. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

Sales of XZ Premium are better than expected. Money is being enough

26. erdilmeet unregistered

Sad to see but life moves on..............

25. Chuck007

Posts: 1423; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

But why did they sell Moto if they want to be a phone manufacturer?

42. jonathanfiuwx

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 10, 2017

exactly, i hate what motorola has become lately. the last great phone was the pure and im glad i own it. sadly next phone will not a be moto

23. Scott93274

Posts: 6044; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I would have rather they kept Motorola...

22. Sealblaighter

Posts: 445; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

If Google will eventually buy HTC, my question is, the history will repeat itself? Google will quickly sell HTC, as they did with Motorola? If not, then Google could make HTC a good player.

38. lmao2016

Posts: 89; Member since: Mar 17, 2016

I think google should let HTC name die and use it's manufacturer powers to strengthen the pixel brand without silly HTC phone to slow down pixel production Google could definitely maximize it's pixel sales... Besides I think in the long term the pixel brand will be a better brand than HTC brand to lead with in the future.

21. Eclectech

Posts: 364; 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.

20. urbanrunner

Posts: 23; 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.

19. urbanrunner

Posts: 23; 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: 3109; 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.

16. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; 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.

15. fyah_king unregistered

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

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.

12. androiduser

Posts: 578; 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 :(

10. dnomadic

Posts: 450; 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: 462; 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.

7. rocker91

Posts: 92; 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

6. kevin97

Posts: 90; Member since: Mar 01, 2016

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

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