HTC Says It Isn’t Interested In Being Acquired By Asus

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Perennially struggling smartphone maker HTC has poured cold water on suggestions that it is an acquisition target for fellow Taiwanese tech firm Asus.

Asus chairman Jonney Shih made headlines at the company’s shareholder meeting on Friday when he did not refute a suggestion that his company might buy HTC. Asus subsequently clarified that there has been no formal bid put forward, but the rumor was enough for HTC to come out with its own denial.

“We strongly deny the news. We didn’t contact Asusteck and will not consider the acquisition. As an international brand, HTC will continue to design world-class innovative smart devices through its pursuit of brilliance brand promise,” HTC said in a statement.

HTC’s business has struggled over the past couple of years, with revenue and profits tumbling despite the Taiwanese company producing some of the best Android devices on the market — including the HTC One in 2013 and HTC One M8 last year. This year’s M9 model is much like its predecessors and, since they hardly sold like touch screen hotcakes, many industry watchers don’t see things turning around anytime soon for HTC.

The company has, however, taken major steps this year. HTC announced in March that Chairwoman Cher Wang replaced Peter Chou, with Chou set to take up a product development role. It has also pushed into new product areas, with the launch of a virtual reality headset and a standalone camera. However, despite the quality of its devices, HTC’s brand is being beaten by the likes of Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi and others.

Beyond HTC’s own struggle, a deal could be interesting for Asus because it has failed to break into the smartphone market in the West, despite seeing success with its PC and notebooks. HTC’s business could — in theory — give it that option. That’s something to consider when you evaluate how Lenovo, the biggest brand in PCs, has shifted its business to mobile. The Chinese company sold more smartphones than PCs in its last financial year for the first time.