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Google acquires HTC's Pixel team for $1.1bn, boosting its smartphone ambitions

21 September 2017

Many of the HTC employees joining Google have already worked on the company's Pixel smartphones, the statement reads, and HTC will receive $1.1bn in cash from Google as part of the transaction.

2,000 HTC smartphone experts will join Google to beef up its hardware division as part of a $1.1 billion deal. It means we won't see any legal action occurring between the two companies, but also that Google can better protect itself against any other company choosing to sue over some alleged hardware-related patent infringement.

Last fall, Google came out with its first family of "Made by Google" products that include the Pixel smartphones, Google Wifi, Google Home, Chromecast Ultra, and Daydream View. "It's still early days for Google's hardware business", wrote Osterlach.

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Getting into hardware might be fruitful for the Google but it can be bad news for the smartphone manufacturers who rely on Google Android operating system. With HTC apparently valued at around $1.9 billion you would expect Google will have quite a say in what HTC does, and what happens at their manufacturing plants. Properly. It's just signed an agreement with HTC to poach some top smartphone development employees from the Taiwanese phone-maker, as well as to license some of its intellectual property.

The deal does not involve Google taking a direct stake in the Taiwanese firm, which will continue to run its remaining smartphone business, but will reinforce the United States giant's hardware capability. With this deal, Google is putting a big bet on hardware and hopes to succeed with it.

Numerous staff that Google will scoop up from the Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer are already working with Google to develop Pixel smartphones, the companies said. HTC manufactured both Pixel smartphones, which were designed by Google and marketed as Google devices.

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This announcement comes a fortnight before the launch of the second generation of Google Pixel devices.

This also brings the HTC Vive, the company's VR offering closer to the Google stable.

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Google acquires HTC's Pixel team for $1.1bn, boosting its smartphone ambitions