Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - Page 12 News List

HTC invests in two mobile software firms

By Jason Tan  /  Staff reporter

HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 4 smartphone brand, has announced investments in two mobile software firms, declaring its ambition to enhance competitiveness in the booming mobile application sector.

The company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday that it will subscribe 5.3 million preferential shares of OnLive Inc, a US-based on-demand gaming service, for US$40 million. Each share would be priced at US$7.50, the statement said.

This follows its statement late on Monday, which said HTC would acquire London-based mobile platform company Saffron Digital Ltd for £30.15 million (US$48.59 million).

HTC has been beefing up its -presence in the mobile application segment to counter rivals such as Apple Inc with its popular App Store.

Its moves are also believed to pave the way for the introduction of its first tablet PCs, which rely largely on the attractiveness of their applications for success, analysts said.

However, HTC CEO Peter Chou (周永明) declined to divulge information on its tablet products -during an investor teleconference late last month.

“The ability to deliver optimized [mobile] content in the future will be a key asset as content becomes more and more complex and localized ... Working with Saffron will increase our global service delivery capabilities and expertise,” Chou said in the Monday statement.

HTC will continue to provide media and content services to -device manufacturers, network operators and content providers in 26 countries, the statement read.

Saffron Digital’s other clients include Nokia Corp, Sony Ericsson, LG Electronics Inc and Samsung Electronics Co.

HTC shares yesterday closed up 1 percent to NT$990 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, out-performing the benchmark TAIEX, which lost 0.37 percent.

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