HTC invests $35m in social, cloud enterprise apps firm

The Taiwanese phone giant plans to acquire close to one-fifth of a U.S. firm to boost its software offerings in the smartphone space.

HTC will invest $35.4 million in a U.S. software firm to boost the phone maker's range of applications for mobile enterprise customers.

The Taiwanese phone maker will acquire a 17.1 percent of Magnet Systems Inc., but scrimped on any further details. 

HTC simply said: "The investment will bring social, mobile, and cloud capabilities to HTC's portfolio of service offerings to its mobile enterprise customers." 

Silicon Valley-based Magnet Systems builds platforms of next-generation enterprise applications. It combines the cloud, mobile technology and social enterprise services while cutting out much of the overheads that feature in traditional middleware, the firm says. 

The investment comes on the same day as its loss of $40 million in OnLive , an enterprise-focused virtualization service that was famed for bringing Microsoft's Windows and Office to the iPad. Dubbed an "investment loss," some analysts are expecting that more writedowns could follow after HTC's spending spree since 2010.

HTC isn't exactly the healthiest of companies at the moment. Despite its problems, it remains a firm competitor on the world stage in mobile market share.

It recently took over Research in Motion, the BlackBerry maker, as the fifth largest mobile maker worldwide . (It should probably be noted for the record that RIM's own decline contributed to HTC's inevitable rise.)

HTC currently holds a growing share of 6.4 percent of the mobile market share. It's not great, but it's far from disastrous. It still has a way to go -- by doubling its share -- to catch up with its fourth-place competitor, Motorola.

The phone maker's chief executive reportedly recently told his staff in an internal email to "kill bureaucracy," close to a month after it missed its revenue forecasts and cut its Q2 profits by more than half . Thankfully, HTC still has a vast cash pile but could still end up the same way as other smartphone makers -- namely the BlackBerry maker, and Nokia -- in the "quietly irrelevant" category.