Google closes $1.1b HTC deal, makes room for new HTC teammates

Google closes $1.1b HTC deal, makes room for new HTC teammates

The incorporation of the HTC engineers in the hardware area comes with the objective of developing innovation and improvements on hardware and system display for the new generation of Pixel smartphones. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Google first announced the acquisition of HTC's smartphone business in September, per Fast Company.

One of the reasons Google brought in HTC engineers into the developing team is because of HTC's engineers' breakthrough in 2005, being the first ones to add 3G performance in smartphones, the first "touch-centric phone" in 2007, and the first metal "unibody" phone in 2013. With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization. Google will also receive a non-exclusive license of the Taiwanese firm's intellectual properties (IPs).

Google previously focused on software and let manufacturers including Samsung Electronics and HTC handle the hardware. HTC's contract manufacturing operations and VR division are not affected, but a substantial majority of the smartphone R&D team is joining Google, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Earlier in the year reports had surfaced indicated that the internet giant had participated in a fundraising round that netted $1.2 billion for Go-Jek.

"It's been a busy few months since we introduced our second-generation family of Made by Google products. This is also the same team we've been working closely with on the development of the Pixel and Pixel 2". The deal will see Google adding over 2,000 smartphone specialists and experts in Taiwan as the online search giant tries to carve a niche in the high-end handset market that is dominated by Apple and Samsung.

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"I'm delighted that we've officially closed our deal with HTC, and are welcoming an incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come", Rick Osterloh, Google's senior VP of hardware, wrote in the blog post.

The upside for Google is even more evident in this case.

Meanwhile, HTC says it's working on a new flagship to follow up this year's HTC U11. The company then sold most of the unit to Lenovo Group for $2.91 billion in 2014, but maintained ownership of most of Motorola Mobility's patent portfolio.

Not only does HTC get a big boost from a powerful partner, but Google also gains hardware expertise, something it needs if it wants to keep up with the likes of Apple and Amazon.

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