Sep 21st, 2017

After news broke yesterday that HTC was halting the trading of stocks in anticipation on a major announcement, it was all but confirmed that Google would be purchasing HTC’s mobile division. This would be seen as a win-win for both companies, as HTC continues to struggle against the likes of Samsung and LG, while it would give Google the tools needed to manufacture its own smartphones for the foreseeable future.

That’s why we’ve signed an agreement with HTC, a leader in consumer electronics, that will fuel even more product innovation in the years ahead. With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization.

Rick Osterloh, Google SVP of Hardware

When the deal was officially announced late last night/early this morning, it left us kind of scratching our heads. No, Google isn’t buying HTC’s mobile division. Instead, Google is paying HTC a sum of $1.1 billion for its “Powered by HTC” research and development team, which helped create the last two iterations of the Pixel lineup.

In addition to purchasing a rather sizable team, (half of HTC’s R&D team), Google will also have a non-exclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property. This means that the company will be able to expand and develop with the help of the intellectual property when it comes to future devices.

An interesting point to make note of is that the deal does not include any of HTC’s manufacturing plants, nor does it grant Google access to these plants. Instead, Google will continue to rely on HTC’s manufacturing practices for future devices, but this deal does open the door for differently-designed smartphones, as well as creating the ability for Google to develop its own chipsets.

As for what this means for HTC, you can still expect to see at least one new iteration of flagship devices, after the company confirmed a new option was in the works. In addition, and unsurprisingly, the company will continue to develop and invest in the Vive division, which may be nearing the launch of a standalone VR headset.

Nonetheless, this news is huge for both Google and HTC and opens so many new doors for the future of the company’s smartphone manufacturing process. So let us know what you think about this news and what it means for the smartphone market as a whole.

UPDATE: 

HTC has confirmed some of the details of this deal to the folks at Pocketnow. While we knew that some of HTC’s staff would now be employed by Google, HTC’s Head of Public Relations, Jeff Gordon, confirmed that the number of employees moving to Google total around 2,000. This accounts for half of HTC’s engineers and technical staff employees. The move for these new Googlers will come in “early 2018”, so there is still some time before the move is made official.

[Google | HTC]

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