It was reported earlier this month that Google might be acquiring HTC’s smartphone business, and now it looks like it might end up being true. HTC has just announced that its shares will halt trading tomorrow as the company prepares to make a “major announcement.”

HTC’s plan to halt trading of shares tomorrow was first reported by Bloomberg’s Tim Cuplan. It’s now being speculated that the Taiwanese phone maker may finally announce a takeover from Google. Another possibility here is that an asset-holding company may be buying HTC, as pointed out by The Verge.

“TWSE announced trading in the shares of HTC Corporation  and the securities underlying the company will be halted starting from Sep. 21, 2017 pending the release of material information. The company will apply for resumption of trading after the release of material information,” the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation said on its website.

Earlier this month, it was reported by the Chinese-language Commercial Times that HTC was in “the final stage of negotiation” with Google to sell its smartphone business. At the time, it was believed that Google was considering two options on how to move forward with the HTC acquisition.

First, Google could become HTC’s strategic partner when it comes to designing and manufacturing smartphones, possibly HTC providing Google with assets and manufacturing capabilities. Google and HTC already have a history of making smartphones together, so this certainly makes a lot of sense.

HTC manufactured Google’s Nexus One smartphone and the Nexus 9 Android tablet a few years ago. HTC was also the company that manufactured Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones last year. HTC is also believed to be making the new Pixel 2 smartphone this year, but LG will be responsible for manufacturing the larger Pixel 2 XL.

The second option here is that Google might actually buy the entirety of HTC’s smartphone business. This could solidify Google’s ambition in making Pixel smartphones by itself. This buyout might not be enough for Google to build it’s products in-house, but it could be a great way to start.

Reliable leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) also received a copy of an internal invitation to an HTC employee Town Hall meeting for tomorrow. The person that provided him with the copy of the invitation claims that HTC and Google have finalized a deal where Google will acquire certain hardware engineering assets while HTC retains its brand. If true, this certainly sounds like Google’s first option. Blass also said that HTC will focus on its Vive VR headset while it retains its patent portfolio and Advanced Technology and Projects division.

“HTC does not comment on market rumor or speculation,” HTC said on its investors website.

If Google is indeed acquiring some hardware engineering assets from HTC, this deal won’t be similar to what happened when Google bought Motorola back in 2012. As Android Central explained, it seems as though Google is acquiring HTC to own a smartphone manufacturer to secure manufacturing capacity, supply chain expertise and design talent for building future Pixel devices.

When Google briefly owned Motorola Mobility between 2012 and 2014, Google owned all of the company’s patents and was in charge of all Moto-branded devices. During that short period, Google mainly focused on entry-level smartphones under the Moto brand and used Motorola to create its first wave of Android Wear smartwatches.

Despite Google efforts, the company was actually losing money when it owned Motorola. Google ended up selling Motorola to Lenovo in 2014. Google was also under pressure from other Android smartphone makers since some of them, like Samsung, were planning to use their own proprietary operating systems instead of Android OS.

Google might still encounter the same issue with acquiring some of HTC’s assets, but this seems to be a logical choice for the company if it wants to continue making its own smartphones.

HTC HTC has announced that its shares will halt trading tomorrow because it will make a major announcement. Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu