Tell me if you've heard this one before. Google, which is heavily invested in the smartphone market, wants to purchase a smartphone OEM in order to control all aspects of smartphone design from the hardware to the software. Google's first foray into this territory occurred with its purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2012. However, the company got cold feet, and sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo in 2014.
Fast forward to today, and Google is reportedly once again looking to purchase a major smartphone OEM. In this case, Google is looking to purchase HTC's phone division, which has fallen far from grace since its heavyweight status at the dawn of Android. This news comes from the Chinese publication Commercial Times (via DigiTimes), which notes that HTC has “entered the final stage of negotiation with Google for selling its smartphone business unit.”
If the report is true, Google would likely be able to purchase the division at bargain pricing (and much less than the $12.5 billion that it paid for Motorola Mobility). HTC has lost roughly 75 percent of its value during that past five years, valuing the company at just under $2 billion. In addition, HTC, which was once the flagship OEM for Android devices, has seen its share of the global smartphone market whittled down to just 2 percent. It has long since been overtaken by South Korean giants like Samsung and LG, as well as Chinese heavy-hitters like Huawei and Xiaomi.
According to the report, Google would only be gaining HTC's phone division, and not the Vive VR Business. As we reported last week, HTC is reportedly seeking another deal to sell or spin off the Vive VR business.