Rumors that Google was gearing up to purchase HTC began heating up in AugustBloomberg suggested that Taiwanese manufacturer HTC might consider selling off part or all of its company, with Google being one of the most likely candidates to make an offer for it. Then, just two weeks ago, Taiwanese media outlets reported that HTC and Google were in the “final stage of negotiation” and a decision could be made by the end of the year.

Tomorrow, we might learn that this is the reality.

As pointed out by Tim Culpan of Bloomberg Gadfly, citing the Taiwan Stock Exchange, HTC has said it will halt trading on Thursday “pending a major announcement.” This, by all accounts, will be to reveal its acquisition by Google.

Leaker Evan Blass added to the speculation with the revelation that he had received a copy of an internal invitation to a HTC Town Hall meeting in which the Google acquisition could allegedly be discussed. Blass went on to further state that the deal would see Google acquire HTC’s hardware assets, while HTC would retain its brand name.

This information would indicate that HTC intends to maintain its Vive VR business while dropping its smartphone arm altogether — something that has been expected for years.

What does Google have to gain?

Despite developing the core Android software, Google has historically relied on other manufacturers to create its smartphones. Google’s Nexus range of devices were produced by a number of different Android manufacturers over the years, and even 2016’s Google Pixel, the first phone to feature the “made by Google” branding, was built with HTC’s involvement.

Seemingly, Google is aiming to make its smartphones a complete in-house affair, taking care of design, production and distribution itself. With this deal, Google may be able to secure HTC’s smartphone manufacturing facilities and core staff to help it develop more consistent hardware — not devices which rely on the work of other OEMs.

A photo of several phones' cameras.

Despite excelling in software and services with products like Android, Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Drive, and many others, Google has typically fallen behind competitors when it comes to hardware. The search giant is on the losing side on battles in phones, tablets, notebooks, and recently, connected speaker sales. Taking over HTC’s assets could be foundational in working towards a smartphone line that can compete with the like of Apple, Samsung, and Huawei (or even get its name on the top smartphone vendors board).

I hope Google can do to HTC what they did to Motorola

As Google has also launched its own VR platform and headset, it seems like taking advantage of HTC’s VR know-how would have been a good fit for its future plans. Presumably, HTC wishes to hold onto this, rather than it being Google’s decision not to buy it.

What are your thoughts on the prospect of HTC’s takeover by Google? Let us know in the comments.