Panasonic Selling Phone Business

Today's weird business story comes to you from Japan, where consumer electronics giant Panasonic has reportedly entered talks with two Taiwanese companies, to part with its ailing mobile phone business. Not weird enough? What if the two companies are HTC and TSMC, both unfit on paper to buy Panasonic's junk, and for two diametrically opposite reasons.

For one, HTC is facing a cash crunch, and its "brilliant" premium smartphones aren't able to dent competitors like Samsung, LG, and Apple. Ideally, it wouldn't want to waste cash on buying someone else's failing asset. TSMC, on the other hand, is so spoiled with cash making chips to virtually every fabless semiconductor company with a presence in Taiwan, that it doesn't need Panasonic's phone division, nor does such a deal fall in with the company's business model of contract-making chips for companies locked in market competition, maintaining strict levels of confidentiality. Stranger things have happened in the past, and perhaps Panasonic's offer includes a bouquet of technology patents, or some seriously talented engineers. Maybe, just maybe it's worth a pitch.