It's one of the more surprising stories of the week, but according to a Japanese site HTC and TSMC are eyeing up Panasonic's mobile division.

SankeiBiz claims the Taiwanese duo are mulling the possibility of a buyout as Panasonic assesses its future mobile plans, which may see it duck out of the market for a second time.

After a lengthy hiatus from the mobile game Panasonic re-emerged at MWC 2012 with the waterproof Eluga and Eluga Power, although both handsets failed to make a splash in the market and the Japanese firm has been pretty quiet ever since.

Worth it?

There's no obvious reason for HTC or semiconductor firm TSMC to look at a merger with Panasonic's mobile division, although there could be something we don't know - is there a patent treasure trove to be had?

These are unconfirmed reports and we're approaching them with a great deal of caution as we'd be surprised that HTC has time for such a major take over while it's in the middle of getting its business back on track.

We've contacted Panasonic and HTC to see if we can find out anything more from the manufacturers themselves.

Via UnwiredView