Is HTC about to buy Panasonic's smartphone business?

Is HTC about to buy Panasonic's smartphone business?What do you do when your smartphone business is in deep trouble and you've just heard your hail mary device is going to be delayed. You buy another company's smartphone division that's in even more trouble, obviously.

Welcome one and all to the latest corporate rumour doing the rounds in Japan: that HTC is about to snap up Panasonic's troubled smartphone division.

To complete the analogy, by the way, that hail mary device is of course the HTC One, which the HTC leadership has now confirmed has been hit by serious manufacturing issues and won't launch on time practically anywhere.

But that's not stopping Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper (here in Japanese, or via Google Translate) from suggesting Panasonic is looking to flog its mobile phone arm to both HTC and TSMC.

That Panasonic is looking to sell is no surprise. Its ambitious plans of a couple of years ago to conquer Europe and the US afresh with its Android line of smartphones failed spectacularly, and the company has already made it clear (though not officially) that its global smartphone ambitions have been scrapped as part of larger restructuring (read: cost-cutting) plans.

So why would HTC or TSMC buy? Well, in HTC's case there is some logic. Panasonic retains a moderate presence in the Japanese phone market, which would be a logical place for HTC to focus its attentions should its own European and US presence continue to slide.

As for TSMC, it's the world's biggest semiconductor manufacturer, and business is good right now considering the explosion of “smart” devices, so maybe it's looking to expand its business into other areas.

To be honest, either way it's not a move that's likely to impact UK mobile users in any serious way in the foreseeable future, though it could play a part in HTC's wider fortunes going forward. But considering it's involving a couple of technology's “household names” and one of its biggest players on the component side, it's an interesting snippet of rumourage all the same.

Via Unwired View

Read more about: Android

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5 comments

mightyforest  Mar. 21, 2013 at 11:41

panasonic are like the old symbian nokias, apart from they were a lot worse,never moved on and can only see HTC buying them to sell budget range phones

CTPAHHIK  Mar. 21, 2013 at 11:43

Panasonic has a phone business?

Oh yeah, it's those plastic thingies plugged into wall socket.

Pondlife  Mar. 21, 2013 at 11:54

The Eluga looked good at least and if they'd developed on those lines I think they were on to something.
This time last year only 20% of phones in Japan were smartphones I just read though the 90-95% of phones being sold there according to panasonic when Eluga was launched being waterproof was more surprising.
Only company outselling them at the time there was Sharp, not seen those over here for a long time either.

Fygh  Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:31

Simply put - patents.

Pondlife  Mar. 21, 2013 at 17:46

Hard to see them having much of real power though.
Pity they couldn't put out some hardcore camera phones, would have been nice to see a zoom camera make it over here or even a rival to Samsungs Galaxy Camera to make them raise their game if nothing else.

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