Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

Posted February 01, 2018

HTC has been a valued partner to Google in the past, developing the first Android phone, as well as building the first Pixel smartphone with Google.

Google has completed its $1.1 billion deal to hire hardware engineers from HTC. The expansion will make the Taipei-based unit the company's largest engineering department in the Asia-Pacific region.

Google will also become less dependant on manufacturers like Qualcomm and it is also possible that the company will be able to extend the life of previous-generation smartphones when it comes to software and security updates.

If Google's push into smartphones sounds familiar, that's because the latest deal echoes Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2012. The Pixel Visual Core chip is just the beginning for Google.

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Google on Tuesday (Jan 30) announced it has officially closed its deal with Taiwanese handset maker HTC. Osterloh also said Google is committed to investing in its products "for the long run", reaffirming that the new folks are there to help Google with its upcoming hardware efforts.

A visitor uses a cell phone in front of the Google logo on September 26, 2012 at the official opening party of the Google offices in Berlin, Germany.

The deal involves more than 2,000 HTC engineers moving over to Google. They will continue to remain in Taiwan.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Bloomberg, the senior vice president of hardware noted that more "custom silicon" is planned for future Pixel devices in order to "really push the envelope for consumers".

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The investment come after a string of embarrassments with its most recent Pixel 2 smartphone, as well as older Nexus devices.

This means that around 2,000 former HTC employees will now work under the Google banner.

Google, which is entering its third year in the hardware business, will get to work immediately with its new teammates, combining the best of its artificial intelligence, software and hardware resources, Osterloh said.

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