Help a brother out: Asus hasn’t ruled out the idea of buying HTC

Asus ZenFone 2
Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends

Is Taiwanese company Asus looking to purchase fellow Taiwanese company and smartphone competitor HTC? The company hasn’t ruled out the possibility, according to Reuters.

Asus Chief Financial Officer David Chang confirmed to the outlet that Asus chairman Jonney Shih brought up the topic during an internal meeting, though nothing concrete came of it. “Our chairman has chatted about the topic internally,” said Chang. “Still, the chances of an actual takeover are not big as Asustek is a company that has depended on organic growth.”

The fact that Asus is even discussing acquiring HTC isn’t much of a surprise, given the company’s recent struggles. Earlier this week, Reuters pointed out that HTC shares dropped 20 percent when the company recently slashed sales estimates. The cut in expectations was made due to lower demand for HTC’s high-end Android devices, most notably, the One M9. Higher operation costs due to increased competition from the likes of Xiaomi and Apple also played a role in HTC’s poor showing.

HTC does have a plan to turn things around, which involves releasing a new “hero product” later this year, as well as focusing on products such as the HTC Vive, the company’s VR headset. Even so, there’s no guarantee HTC will reverse its failings, hence speculation of its acquisition.

Asus, meanwhile, is performing relatively well with its smartphone business. The company recently announced it shipped 1.5 million smartphones in May. With numbers likely buoyed by the recent release of the ZenFone 2, which we ended up recommending to anyone looking for an Android smartphone, Asus’ smartphone business turned in a profit. Exact numbers weren’t revealed, though the company expects to ship 2 million smartphones this month. Overall, as opposed to HTC, Asus looks to be seeing some steady growth.

Back in 2013, Lenovo was rumored to be in talks with HTC about a possible acquisition, though nothing came of it. We’ll see if the same happens in this scenario, or whether Asus will eventually make a serious push.