Google was rumoured to be interested in buying Taiwan-based HTC in August. HTC, once one of the more popular smartphone makers in the United States, has fallen off of most carrier store shelves after several consecutive unsuccessful smartphone launches. It recently launched a separate division that sells virtual reality headsets.
The Taiwanese company builds the Google Pixel, which means it could be a good fit for Google as it continues to cater to consumers with its "Pixel" smartphone brand. However Google has made a mess of like this before when it bought Motorola Mobility and then sold it off just a couple of years later.
According to the Commercial Times, HTC's poor financial position and Google's desire to "perfect the integration of software, content, hardware, network, cloud, [and] AI" is the driving force behind Google's interest.
The news outlet said Google may make a "strategic investment" or "buy HTC's smartphone R&D team" which suggests that the VR team would exist as its own.
UBS analyst Eric J. Sheridan said that Google might want to push further into hardware:
"From a strategic standpoint, owning & operating its own mobile operating division would offset some of the key strategic challenges that Google's mobile computing business might face: a) a deeper integration of hardware/software would offset some of the Android fragmentation issues that do not plague Apple iOS; b) development cycles that maximize forward mobile computing trends (Google Lens, location, ARCore, Google Assistant) with possible greater user adoption; c) an offset to rising Distribution TAC expenses; & d) an offset to any negative industry dynamics (unbundling of apps) resulting from the European Commission's Android investigation."
Sheridan said a Google acquisition of HTC would be "immaterial to Alphabet" given its $95 billion cash stash.