Google’s ‘big bet on hardware’ sees it acquire some HTC employees and IP for $1.1 billion

HTC U11 Canada

The rumours were true.

HTC has announced a $1.1 billion USD ‘Cooperation Agreement’ that will see Google acquire the company’s intellectual property and a specific number number of employees joining Google as part of the tech giants hardware division.

According to the terms, Google reached a “definitive agreement” with HTC that will see the company score $1.1 billion in cash. As expected, this move is mainly a play to expand the company’s “big bet on hardware.” Google basically just ‘acqui-hired’ many employees who worked on the company’s Pixel line of smartphones.

There was no mention to the specific HTC IP that Google will have access to, but it reportedly will help “support the Pixel smartphone family.”

“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, said Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice President of hardware, in a press statement.

HTC will continue to design and develop its own smartphone strategy and virtual reality ecosystem, though the company says this monetary injection will simply help to enable “a more streamlined product portfolio, greater operational efficiency, and financial flexibility.”

Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO of HTC, stated, “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.”

HTC and Google have a long history of working together in the Android space. HTC created the first Android smartphone, the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1), the Nexus One, Nexus 9 tablet, and the first Pixel smartphone last year.

HTC also noted that it is “currently working on the next flagship phone.” No further details were revealed, however.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, is expected to close by early 2018.

Source: Google, HTC