TROUBLED PHONE MAKER HTC has announced it is to cease trading shares tomorrow ahead of a "major announcement".
The company, which was one of the original smartphone developers, will stop trading on the Taiwan stock exchange and is expected to either be being bought by Google or to be launching a major strategic partnership which would most likely see it become the main manufacturer of future Google Hardware.
Legendary tipster Evan Blass (@evleaks) has already tweeted that he has received word of a 'Town Hall' meeting at HTC with the subject 'Google Acquisition'.
HTC has struggled to keep up in the smartphone wars, battling against the likes of Samsung, and despite continuing to release products under its own name, most recently the HTC U11, its biggest success of recent years has been the Pixel which was manufactured by HTC under Google branding.
With a big hardware launch announced for 4 October (and yes, INQ will be there, reporting live) you can expect to see the Pixel 2 become the latest HTC handset, again under pure Google branding. The but the bigger Pixel 2 XL is expected to be manufactured by LG, who last contributed the Nexus 5X to the canon.
HTC does not comment on market rumour or speculation. We know that because it said so repeatedly, but we also know the company is floundering and needs some sort of cash injection and this would appear to be it.
Unlike when Google purchased Motorola, which it subsequently sold on to Lenovo, this purchase would more than likely be for keeps as Google expands its in-house hardware division as it continues to fight off the iPhone X, as well as setting its sights on bigger machines running Chrome OS. A so-called 'Pixelbook' is also rumoured for the 4 October event.
Of course, owning HTC would also give Google first-hand access to the future of the HTC Vive, which would mean it would be able to progress beyond the relative simplicity of Google Daydream in the VR field. µ
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