Fri, Oct 14, 2011 - Page 11 News List

HTC ponders more acquisitions to boost brand name

Staff Writer, with CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s fifth-largest smartphone supplier, is assessing the possibility of acquiring more content and media companies in a bid to make itself one of the best-known brands worldwide, London’s Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

In an interview published on the newspaper’s Web site, HTC chief executive officer Peter Chou (周永明) said that the strength of having cutting-edge technology is no longer sufficient to compete, and that “it needs to be a holistic experience of hardware, software and content.”

According to the smartphone maker, HTC was sitting on NT$116.44 billion (US$3.83 billion) in cash and cash equivalent as of the end of the second quarter of this year.

Earlier in the year, HTC acquired a 51 percent stake in US headphone firm Beats Electronics LLC for US$309 million, and the company unveiled a week earlier the HTC Sensation XL, a 4.7-inch smartphone using Beats Audio technology, the second Beats phone launched by HTC.

In addition to Beats, HTC has also acquired Saffron Digital Ltd, a British-based video streaming firm, and Onlive Inc, a US games company, according to the newspaper.

“We are open to making investments in key components to ensure that we are providing a unique experience,” Chou told the paper.

Taipei-based Topology Research Institute told the Central News Agency that HTC’s acquisitions are in line with the company’s efforts to boost brand awareness.

However, the report said that HTC has no intention of buying an operating system of its own, although it added the company had at one point considered an acquisition of Hewlett-Packard Co’s WebOS operating system.

HTC has since decided to continue to supply its products based on Google Inc’s Android operating system and Microsoft Corp’s Windows OS.

HTC plans to keep producing tablet computers, Chou said, adding: “We are still at the very beginning ... but HTC is positioned very well to be in the tablet market because we can bring a lot of synergies from the handset business.”

Shares of HTC gained 2.58 percent to NT$755.0 yesterday in Taipei trading.

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