HTC expands to UK with Saffron Digital buy


Taiwan's leading smartphone maker HTC is to buy a British digital multimedia company and invest in a US online gaming firm as part of a bid to expand its software business. HTC will buy London-based Saffron Digital, which enables the delivery of multimedia content to handsets, for £30m, the firm said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

HTC has been the most successful of the Android phonemakers and has been investing in teams and companies to enhance its software platform further, trying to keep a step ahead of rivals like Motorola and Samsung.



HTC is already a Saffron customer in the past, but so are several of its key rivals - Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung USA - and it will not have sufficient control of the software firm to use the technology exclusively.

Saffron will continue to serve its third party customers - but HTC will be able to hope to influence its partner's direction and learn from its expertise.

"Saffron Digital has developed an incredible expertise in mobile multimedia delivery," said Peter Chou, chief executive of HTC Corporation. "This ability to deliver optimised content in the future will be a key asset as content becomes more and more complex and localised."

HTC also plans to invest $40m in US gaming firm OnLive, HTC said. HTC did not specify how big its share in the company would be after the acquisition.

HTC makes handsets for a number of leading US companies and is the manufacturer of the Nexus One, unveiled by Apple rival Google last year.

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