After Google’s not so profitable Motorola acquisition, the search giant is rumored to bein last stage of its takeover of HTC smartphone business.

HTC has had trouble staying afloat in the immensely competitive smartphone segment for a while now, and a buyout by Google is being seen as the most plausible solution at the moment. In fact, local press in Taiwan is claiming the acquisition talks to have entered the last phase already so that something concrete on this might emerge before the end of the year itself.

What is not known though is whether Google is opting for outright ownership of the Taiwanese manufacturer’s ailing smartphone business or going for some sort of a strategic partnership. While a full acquisition is feasible, a strategic investment in the company too can’t be ruled out entirely.

Both Google and HTC has enjoyed close business ties which continue to the day. HTC is already contracted by Google to produce the smaller of the two new Pixel handset tentatively named Pixel 2. That again is nothing new as HTC had also produced Google’s Nexus handsets in the past.

Meanwhile, HTC’s own flagship handset for 2017, the U11 is having a tough time in the market even though it started off strong. Sales of the handset tapered off sharply for the month of August. In fact, company’s August 2017 sales have been the lowest ever in more than a decade, or 13 years to be precise.

Interestingly, the dip in sales, comes post a resurgence in revenue just in July. However, the August decline is to the tune of 51.5 percent compared to July and an even steeper 54.4 percent compared to August 2016.

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HTC, however, is much better off with its VR venture in the form of the Vive headset. That again is not believed to be part of the present deal with Google, which is likely restricted to only HTC’s smartphone business.

Worth mentioning, Google had also acquired Motorola back in 2012 but had sold it off just two years later for a loss. Under the circumstances, it remains to be seen if Google will attempt acquisition of another hardware business or will remain content making an investment.

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