While most of us know Google best as a company that offers online services — like YouTube, Gmail and Google Search — they’re increasingly dabbling in hardware too. You’ve got Chromecast, Google Wifi and Google Home, for instance. And now it looks like Google wants to own its smartphone game again, because it is apparently in the “final stage of negotiations” to acquire HTC.

They’re not interested in the entirety of HTC, however. They only want the smartphone division, which has been struggling for the last several years, drowned out by the rise of Apple and Samsung. Apparently, last month’s revenue figures were the lowest in 13 years, which will likely help Google land an even better buying price.

Understandably, both Google and HTC aren’t exactly talking publicly about this, but a report in Commercial Times says that they may have a deal to announce before the end of the year. You may recall that the first Android phones ever were the HTC Dream and the HTC Magic. HTC is also responsible for the Pixel and Pixel 2.

This isn’t the first time that Google has toyed with the idea of buying a smartphone company. It wasn’t all that long ago back in 2012 that Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, only to turn around and sell it to Lenovo a couple years later for $2.9 billion. Many of us thought at the time that there would be a clever synergy there for better Nexus devices, but they kept the two teams separate.


If this bid to acquire HTC does come to fruition, let’s hope for Google’s sake that it turns out better than the Motorola deal. And just like the Motorola deal, HTC will retain the remainder of its non-mobile business, which in this case would include such lines as the HTC Vive VR headset.

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