SAN FRANCISCO: Google is set to announce it is buying part of Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer HTC, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday (Sep 20).
|A HTC “U11” smartphone is displayed in this illustration photo. (Photo source: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/Illustration/Files)|
The deal for HTC’s smartphone design unit would give the US tech giant more control of its mobile handset hardware as it seeks to bolster its challenge to market leaders including Apple and Samsung.
Google did not respond to an AFP query on the report, which said an announcement could come later in the day.
HTC said in a filing to the stock exchange that it would hold a news conference at 10:00 a.m. Taipei time (0200 GMT) on the signing of an “important cooperation agreement.”
HTC shares were on a trading halt on Thursday.
HTC is already a partner of the California giant and has produced the Google-branded Pixel smartphone, an upgrade of which is set to be released next month.
But the tie-up could give Google greater ability to integrate smartphone hardware and its Android operating software in the same manner as Apple, a feature which is seen as helping the iPhone.
HTC shares have fallen sharply over the past few years as its smartphone market share has dropped. Trading in HTC was suspended pending an announcement.
It would not be the first foray into hardware for Google, which in 2012 acquired handset maker Motorola for US$12.5 billion, only to sell it two years later for less than US$3 billion.
Source Agencies/ Reuters