Continuing their skyrocket beyond ODM-dom, HTC's buyout bid for Taiwanese Dopod has moved into the final stages. Having signed a memorandum of understanding, the only thing left in the estimated $150 million deal is approval from the Taiwanese government. Assuming HTC chairwoman and Dopod controlling shareholder Cher Wang, daughter of petrochemicals billionaire Y.C. Wang and wife of
HTC boss-man Peter Chou VIA boss-man Wen Chi Chen has enough influence to push this through (read: she does), then HTC is about to find themselves in direct competition with their own customers O2, i-mate and HP. HTC already confirmed their decision to self-brand phones in Europe, now the Dopod deal could result in HTC designs being sold exclusively under the Dopod branding outside of Europe. In fact, HTC has already cut ties with both O2 and i-mate in Australia, New Zealand, and India. So if Dopod's claim that HTC manufactures 80 percent of Windows Mobile phones is true, well, O2, i-mate, and HP best be looking for fresh design and manufacturing blood on the quick.