HTC Acquires Abaxia to Strengthen Smartphone Software Development

HTC is acquiring Abaxia, a mobile software company that has collaborated with a number of HTC competitors, including Nokia, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson. As it competes with Apple and others in mobility, HTC says it expects the purchase to help speed its innovation.

Smartphone maker HTC has acquired Abaxia, a Paris-based mobile software developer. In the past, Abaxia has worked to create software with HTC and also with a number of its handset competitors, including Nokia, Motorola, LG Electronics and Sony Ericsson, as well as wireless carriers such as Orange and France Telecom.
According to a June 7 Wall Street Journal article, the purchase price was approximately $13.2 million.
HTC, based in Taoyuan, Taiwan, currently has a number of popular smartphones being offered through wireless carriers in the United States, many of which-including the Evo 4G and the Droid Incredible-run Google's Android operating system. With the purchase of Abaxia, HTC will have a new tool in its kit to help it solidify its standing near the top of the U.S. handset market and compete more effectively against heavyweights such as Apple.
"The addition of Abaxia [will] deepen and broaden our software development capabilities so that we can innovate at an even faster pace," Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, said in a statement.
"HTC and Abaxia have worked closely together in the past and our businesses complement each other well," Abaxia CEO Cedric Mangaud added. "We're excited to be joining such a significant and emerging mobile brand."
In the worldwide handset market, HTC ranked eighth during the first quarter, with 1.1 percent market share. Apple grabbed 2.9 percent and Motorola, behind it, had 2.8 percent. Worldwide leaders Nokia and Samsung claimed 34 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively-showing just how far, despite recent successes, HTC has to go.
In what some perceive to be another sign of the company's increasing success, HTC was sued by Apple on March 2, with the iPhone maker alleging that HTC violates 20 patents relevant to the iPhone's interface, architecture and hardware. On April 1, the International Trade Commission agreed to investigate Apple's complaint, and on May 12, HTC filed a countersuit alleging that Apple infringes on five HTC patents.
"As an innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002 and the first Android smartphone in 2008, HTC believes the industry should be driven by healthy competition and innovation that offer consumers the best, most accessible mobile experiences possible," Jason Mackenzie, HTC's vice president for North America, said in a statement at the time. "We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners and, most importantly, our customers that use HTC phones."
Nothing has yet come of either lawsuit. As for HTC, Chou said in the Abaxia announcement HTC is currently "committed to creating the best possible mobile experience for our customers today, tomorrow and into the future."