Update (September 21, 2017): Google has acquihired the ‘Powered by HTC’ team in a $1.1 billion deal.
If reports from earlier this month and new developments today are anything to go by, Google is almost certainly going to acquire Taiwanese phone maker HTC this week.
That’s good news for HTC, and good news for Pixel fans too. This company knows how to make good hardware, and has had some clever ideas in the past, like the squeezable U11 and the Vive VR headset. It’s believed to be manufacturing the search giant’s next Pixel 2 flagship handset. It also previously partnered with Google to make the Nexus 9 tablet in 2014.
Fun fact: HTC also made one of my favorite phones of all time, the One X from 2012.
Spurring on the rumor mill are a couple of pieces of news: HTC suspended trading for tomorrow on the Taiwanese Stock Exchange (as this report from Taiwanese site TechNews as well a tweet from Bloomberg columnist Tim Culpan indicate). Plus, tipster Evan Blass tweeted that an HTC town hall meeting is slated for tomorrow:
 Someone sent me a copy of an internal invitation to an HTC employee Town Hall meeting tmrw (9/21). One alleged topic: Google acquisition
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 20, 2017
Blass went on to note that the deal would see Google acquire some of HTC’s hardware assets, but allow the company to retain the brand so it can continue to promote its VR efforts.
It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of HTC’s mobile division if the acquisition indeed happens. Google previously bought Motorola back in 2011 and didn’t achieve much with it. It then sold the business off to Lenovo in 2014, for about a sixth of what it originally paid.
We’re keeping an ear to the ground and will update this story as we receive new information.