With the reveal of Google’s next wave of devices right around the corner, the company is prepared to shake things up. Not one to wait, Google is already sending ripples across the tech industry with a newly announced partnership with HTC. After wondering if Google was about to acquire HTC, it turns out Google has signed a $1.1 billion agreement that brings some of HTC's Pixel team over and gives Google non-exclusive license to HTC intellectual property.
Back in August, it was theorized that HTC would be spinning off various divisions of their company. The market value for HTC has been on the decline in the last year, but there’s still a massive amount of value and potential in their collection of assets. This new deal sees Google specifically snatching up access to HTC’s smartphone assets and welcoming an HTC team of 2,000 people onto the Google roster.
“It’s still early days for Google’s hardware business,” says Google’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Rick Osterloh in the company’s blog post. “We’re focused on building our core capabilities, while creating a portfolio of products that offers people a unique yet delightful experience only made possible by bringing together the best of Google software—like the Google Assistant—with thoughtfully designed hardware. HTC has been a longtime 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.”
Google and HTC already have a long-established relationship with each other. The very first Android phone was manufactured by HTC and Google’s flagship phone, the Pixel, is an HTC creation as well. This new deal simply brings the two entities even closer together and could impact a great many of devices. Nothing has been said about HTC's future plans for the Vive division, but HTC's CEO Cher Wang did speak on how the $1.1 billion partnership could influence HTC's virtual reality hardware.
“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," she says. "We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services.”