Google has officially announced it has signed a cooperation agreement for $1.1 billion to acquire a part of HTC smartphone team. It means a certain number of HTC’s smartphone division employees (reportedly about 2000) will be joining the Google headquarters and many of these employees are already working on Pixel smartphones. It has also been announced that the whole payment regarding the deal will be made in cash and in return, Google will also get a non-exclusive license to HTC’s intellectual properties.
This is quite a different situation from previous reports and rumors which suggested that Google would be buying the whole HTC smartphone business. This official deal means that it will get only a part of the team and HTC will continue to work as an independent smartphone maker. The Taiwanese OEM even made it clear that the team has started to work on its 2018 flagship.
In the official statement, Google’s Senior Vice President (Hardware), Rick Osterloh said:
“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. 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. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.”
This deal is also an indication that Google is quite serious about its smartphone and hardware business which it has been promoting as Made by Google since the launch of original Pixel smartphones. It simply wants to have as much as possible control over hardware, software, and services aspect of its hardware product offerings.
On the other hand, the deal should help HTC in making better investments to make sure that its struggling smartphone business could be revived. This seems to be the reason that the company has demanded the whole $1.1 billion in cash.