Google confirms buying HTC's mobile division team for $1.1 billion

Lloyd Doyle
September 21, 2017

Specifically, the two companies have inked a definitive agreement that sees certain HTC employees, many of whom are already working with Google to develop the company's Pixel smartphones, join Google.

Separately, Google will receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property (IP). It's expected to close by early 2018 provided it gets approved.

Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Hardware at Google, revealed the team has been closely involved with the development of the company's Pixel line of phones.

HTC has committed to continue to bringing smartphones to market but will do so with a smaller portfolio and is now working on a successor to the flagship U11 device.

"With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization", Google's hardware chief Rick Osterloh said in a blog post. And of course there's the HTC Vive and its virtual reality (VR) business which the company will continue to grow.

In their recent press release, HTC talks about the agreement with Google and states, "This agreement also supports HTC's continued branded smartphone strategy, enabling a more streamlined product portfolio, greater operational efficiency, and financial flexibility".

HTC, which has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years, said the Google agreement won't hurt its own smartphone business, suggesting it will allow it to streamline its range of products.

This time around, Google is doing it the right way: It is acquiring the key assets it needs to take its in-house hardware-making efforts to the next level.

Both companies have achieved several mobile-industry firsts, including the first Android smartphone the HTC Dream in 2010 Nexus One, in 2014 Nexus 9 tablet, and the first Pixel smartphone just a year ago. The deal made Taiwan Stock Exchange suspend HTC's stock in the hours leading up to the announcement. This essentially means HTC will continue building phones.

Rumors said that Google would purchase HTC's smartphone department - while that rumor turned out to be false, Google did actually buy part of HTC's business.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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