Yes, recent rumors about Google buying HTC, the Taiwanese consumer electronics company, to further get into manufacturing its smartphone hardware are true. Both companies have reached their agreement, that Google will be acquiring part of HTC’s mobile division (the department focusing on developing previous generation Pixel phones) for $1.1 billion USD. The deal is expected to complete in 2018.
…this agreement is a testament to the decade-long history of teamwork between HTC and Google…the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1…the Nexus One in 2010, the Nexus 9 tablet in 2014, and the first Pixel smartphone…
It is nothing new that Google would like to gain greater control in their products’ hardware (Made By Google). Back when the launch of the Pixel phones, HTC already worked closely with Google in developing and manufacturing the phones.
HTC will keep its name
In this deal, Google will only acquire the ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) department of HTC and its non-exclusive license for the intellectual property, including about 2,000 experienced employees. HTC’s original smartphone brand will remain the same, and they say the research of the next flagship device has already started. The acquisition will let HTC to focus on innovations in other new areas, such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G network, and Internet of Things (IoT).
Third time Google acquires hardware companies
Google purchased Motorola Mobility (smartphone manufacturer) for $12.5 billion USD in 2012 and paid $3.2 billion USD for NEST Labs (smart home devices maker) in 2014. However, Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo Group Ltd. for less than $3 billion USD. The $1.1 billion USD in the current HTC deal is the smallest among previous purchases.
Google may be able to compete with larger companies in the smartphone market, like Apple, by paying more attention to the optimization between hardware and software. The experience and manufacturing technologies that HTC’s personals bring may make Google’s hardware more appealing in the very near future.
Sources from Google and HTC.
Related: Google launching the new Pixel 2 smartphones on 4 October.
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