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You may be saying goodbye to an Android pioneer tomorrow

Remember the rumours about HTC being bought over by Google? With this new piece of information, it looks like those rumours are shaping up to be true as the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) has just issued a release that HTC would be halting the trading of their shares starting the 21st of September 2017 pending the “release of material information”.

In other words, it looks like a big change is about to take place in the company.

We want to say this is surprising information, but considering the sorry state HTC’s smartphone business has been in lately, it really isn’t. Despite the excellent HTC U11 — probably 2017’s biggest sleeper hit for me — the HTC you know of today just isn’t the HTC of the old days. Truly a disheartening sight for one of the original pioneers and innovators of the Android platform. After all, they did launch the first Android smartphone ever. Remember the HTC Dream? And who could forget the Nexus One?

Although the TWSE release doesn’t detail the specifics behind this pending announcement, everyone’s favourite leakster Evan Blass (@evleaks) may have some insights into what’s going on.

It looks like the sale — if it turns out to be true — will work out in a way that’s similar to Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia smartphone business and Google’s previous acquisition of Motorola’s Mobile business. It doesn’t seem likely that Google will completely purchase the Taiwanese company and absorb them like Fitbit did with Pebble.

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Evan Blass’ tweet hints at the fact that HTC likely wants to retain their brand to continue developing their popular Vive VR platform which is perhaps the company’s biggest potential source of growth.

Google’s acquisition of HTC’s smartphone business is pretty logical, all things considered. The two companies have worked together in the past in Google’s Nexus programme and even when Google made the new Pixel and Pixel XL. This year, it’s rumoured that HTC will be making the smaller Google Pixel 2 while LG handles the larger Pixel XL 2.

That said, none of this is officially confirmed yet so stay tuned for the full announcement when it does come.

I will be more than a little sad if HTC stops making smartphones. Despite several questionable decisions, their handsets will always have a special place in my heart — after all my first Android device was the HTC Desire. I don’t think anyone can really refute the fact that HTC did a lot to help Android grow, from incredible all-metal devices to their legendary BoomSound stereo speakers, HTC has been at the forefront of Android smartphone development more than a few times.

It’ll be a sad day if this company never makes smartphones ever again.