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Panasonic ponders selling its smartphone business to HTCor TSMC

Panasonic is said to be considering selling its smartphone business, a report in the Japanese press says. What's even more interesting is that potential customers are said to be HTCand TSMC.
March 20, 2013

Panasonic is considering selling its smartphone business, a report on Japanese news outlet Sankei Shimbun says. While that’s newsworthy in its own, the names of the potential buyers are even more interesting.

That report mentions HTCand TSMC as potential buyers. According to the report, the sale could go through if there will be no improvement on the financial front in the close future. The report also adds that the sale is apparently conditioned by the existence of an agreement in terms not only of price, but also of keeping the workforce.

For a long time, Panasonic made smartphones exclusively for the Japanese market, being a rather discrete presence in the rest of the world. However, the Eluga models, first shown last year at MWC, looked like sign of a comeback to the global market. Things haven’t gone in the right direction, really, and, even if the Eluga has received an Ice Cream Sandwich update in November, nothing much has happened since.

I frankly don’t know why HTCwould buy Panasonic’s mobile business,  other than acquiring market share in Japan (let’s not forget that HTC has financial problems of its own).

On the other hand, TSMC could think about making phones based on its own chips, and that would make at least some sense.

What do you think? Will this deal happen?