Google completes $1.1bn HTC deal, promises ‘custom silicon’ for future Pixel phones

(The Inquirer)– GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED the completion of its $1.1bn (£783m) deal to buy a large chunk of HTC’s hardware business.

The deal, first announced in September last year, isn’t the full takeover that many had been expecting, and instead see HTC become Google’s main provider of hardware, with some HTC personnel moving to join the tech giant.

Beyond the transfer of over 2,000 engineers from HTC, around one-fifth of the firm’s hardware team, Google will also receive a non-exclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property. This will leave HTC to produce its own handsets concurrently, while Google can leverage the technology in its Made By Google range.

Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of hardware at Google, said in a blog post: “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.

“These new colleagues bring decades of experience achieving a series of ‘firsts’, particularly in the smartphone industry – including bringing to market the first 3G smartphone in 2005, the first touch-centric phone in 2007, and the first all-metal unibody phone in 2013. This is also the same team we’ve been working closely with on the development of the Pixel and Pixel 2.”

The deal also gives Google a new engineering base in Taipei, Taiwan, where HTC is located, which will become the largest Google engineering site in APAC.

Seperately, in an interview with Bloomberg, Osterloh confirmed that Google is working on more “custom silicon” for its future Pixel smartphones, in a bit to better take on iPhone-maker Apple.

He also said that the firm will be working closely with HTC to better integrate software and hardware on its future devices, saying: “You have to be vertical in some cases to really push the envelope for consumers. Our intention is to invest in this for the long term. You’ll see a steady increase in investment from us.”

He also revealed that Google is planning on expanding hardware marketing, and retailer deals in new countries.

Source:: The Inquirer

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