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Google might be in the final stages of acquiring smartphone maker HTC, reports said. The move allegedly aims to unify and integrate many aspects involved in developing future Pixel phones.
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The smartphone landscape, becoming more innovative and fragmented overtime, has not been forgiving. In this field, past glories mean nothing, and they can disappear at a moment’s notice. Think of BlackBerry and Nokia, back then domineering over everyone else, but now reduced to ashes of their former glory.
It’s harsh, but it’s also true. Nokia, for its part, is trying to revive the brand. The same can be said for BlackBerry. However, the landscape has indeed changed, and is still changing rapidly. Fail to keep up with the trends and eventually one is out of the running.
HTC, on one hand, still has fuel. The embattled OEM pumps out new smartphones and is still taking risks: Putting pressure-sensitive sensors on phones, HTC introduced this unique input method called Edge Sense wherein users can “squeeze” their device to invoke certain commands. It’s experimenting, trying. It’s still hopeful.
But even so, perhaps HTC knows it simply can’t compete with Samsung and Apple anymore. It knows it might only be a matter of time before it follows BlackBerry and Nokia to the graveyard.
So what does a company do when its options are few?
Google’s HTC Acquisition: Why It Makes Sense
A Taiwanese publication called Commercial Times claims that Google is in the final stages of acquiring all or part of HTC. The news follows reports in August suggesting HTC was considering acquisition options, including selling off its Vive virtual reality arm.
HTC, once an extremely popular brand, has fallen off shelves after a series of lukewarm smartphone launches.
The report seems sketchy, especially since Google has had experience with this in the past. It bought Motorola Mobility in 2011 then sold it to Lenovo years later after posting underwhelming results.
That said, Google has plenty of reasons to buy HTC. For one, it’s the company that made the first pair of Pixel phones and is reportedly creating the sequels as well. It makes perfect sense, HTC is on a downward slope. Google wants to unify its smartphone development by “perfecting [the] integration of software, content, hardware, network, cloud, [and] AI.” It’s a win-win for both.
What If Google Buys Vive, Too?
The report claims Google might make a strategic investment or purchase only HTC’s research and development unit. This also makes sense. Buying HTC’s VR arm is unnecessary since Google already has Daydream, its own VR platform. Still, buying Vive will make Google and Facebook-owned Oculus Rift staunch competitors.
For now, everything is mere speculation, but the strong rationale behind such possibilities can’t be denied.
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