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Google Acquires HTC Team That Helps Make Its Pixel Phones For US$1.1 Billion
By Mikelle Leow, 21 Sep 2017
Video screenshot via Google
Word of Google buying HTC in entirety had been going around the rumor mill recently. Finally, people can have their closure: the rumors are only mostly true. HTC is “here to stay,” the Taiwanese smartphone brand confirms in a tweet.
Late Wednesday, Rick Osterloh, the Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google, announced in a blog post that “a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization.” Separately, Google will also receive HTC’s intellectual property through a non-exclusive license.
“These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team.”
According to HTC, the team behind Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones will be purchased for US$1.1 billion, securing “a more streamlined product portfolio, greater operational efficiency and financial flexibility” for the company.
“This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses,” says HTC’s CEO Cher Wang.
In spite of HTC’s technological capabilities, it struggles to compete with richer industry giants. A glance at its financial reports suggests how deep its losses might run. Before Wednesday, HTC had US$838 million in cash, and its total assets amounted to about US$2 billion.
What does Google’s acquisition over the Pixel team mean for Apple and other competitors? The company already has one of the most used operating systems in Android; now that it has direct control over the manufacturing process, it might have a competitive advantage over the industry if it rectifies, and considerably improves, the hardware issues Android is notorious for.
Google’s Osterloh comments, “HTC has been a longtime, [decade-long] partner and has created some of the most beautiful, high-end devices on the market. We can’t wait to welcome members of the HTC team to join us on this journey.”
[via Mashable and Engadget, cover video screenshot via Google]
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