The HTC One M9 launched with a bang earlier this year. But despite the glitz and executive bullshit, the truth is that while being a fairly solid phone, it was also unremarkable and not wildly different to its predecessor, the M8.
It seems that consumers agreed too: reports over the last few weeks suggest that sales have not been as strong as hoped, and as a result big losses have been forecast. To try to mitigate the problem, HTC is apparently looking to launch yet another new, better flagship phone later this year.
But it looks as though a saviour could be on the horizon, in the form of its fellow Taiwanese powerhouse, Asus. Reuters reports today that Johnny Shih, chairman of what is officially known as Asustek has not ruled out a purchase of its rival.
Such a move would seemingly make a lot of sense. Asus make products in a tonne of different categories – monitors, computers, laptops – whereas HTC only makes phones and tablets. Yes, Asus has its own phones and tablets but they are a long way from matching HTC in terms of sales or critical acclaim.
Though the M9 is a bit of a failure, HTC as a phone brand is up there with Samsung at the top end of Android devices. It would also give Asus a bit of a boost in prestige, as HTC is currently working on the HTC Vive VR headset, which would work well with Asus's successful gaming PC business. So buying HTC would give Asus a boost in the phone market and complement its other products to boot.
Whether it will actually happen remains to be seen. Apparently Asus has traditionally relied on organic growth, so an acquisition would be a departure for the company. [Reuters]