HTC is barely a shadow of the smartphone maker it once was, and as it continues to fade from consumer memory, it seems the company has a new effort in the works to keep the brand alive. Apparently, HTC is talking to smartphone makers in India regarding licensing its brand out.

According to Brand Equity (via Phandroid), HTC is currently in talks with a handful of small smartphone makers. These include Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn, and the talks revolve around returning the HTC brand to these markets by licensing out to those OEMs. It seems that discussions are in “advanced stages” and Lava and Karbonn may partner for the license deal.

This new business model would earn HTC-proper a royalty if it were to go through. The company has made efforts in India before, but failed to make an impact in that market when stacked up against the likes of established brands including Xiaomi.

Apparently, the goal for these lower-tier brands is to make themselves a competitor in the Rs-10,000 range which they currently don’t occupy. One executive explained:

Since HTC used to operate in the Rs 10,000-plus segment, the brand will help the Indian smartphone makers re-enter this price segment, which is now the fastest-growing with intense competition among Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo and Vivo…

An HTC spokesperson didn’t confirm these talks, but did mention plans for “strategic options” in India, followed by the promise of “more to announce at a later date.” It’s also unclear if a move like this would mark the end of HTC producing its own smartphones in other markets.

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Ben Schoon

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