HTC confirmed a partnership with security company Northrop Grumman Australia to “explore” secure smartphone solutions for enterprises, following media speculation.

In a statement, the Taiwanese smartphone vendor responded to a report from Asia’s CNA News, which claimed HTC was working with Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Australia branch to develop encryption solutions for business smartphones.

HTC however only confirmed that the deal is in “a very preliminary stage”, before adding it could not comment on any future development.

Media speculation suggests HTC and NGC are working to establish a new standard in data security for mobile devices.

US-based NGC is a global aerospace and defence technology company, and provides products and solutions in cyber security, among other fields.

A move into enterprise security would give the vendor a potential new revenue channel in light of flagging consumer demand for its smartphones and recent financial challenges. A secure enterprise smartphone offering would throw it into a space occupied by players such as BlackBerry and Silent Circle.

News of the partnership comes as HTC prepares to unveil its latest flagship smartphone, the HTC 10,  tomorrow.