Google has finally confirmed its plans to buy out part of HTC’s smartphone hardware unit for USD 1.1 billion. As anticipated, the agreement was officially announced today and also revealed that the internet search giant did not actually acquire HTC entirely, but instead has taken over only some of HTC’s human resources and intellectual properties.
With this new agreement, Google will now have direct access to the hardware technology and manpower of the Taiwanese company to build their own devices.
Most employees currently working under the Pixel smartphone hardware department at HTC will be migrated to Google’s ‘own’ hardware division. Additionally, for future manufacturing of gadgets, Google will also get to make use of the patents licensed by HTC including the camera tech, ‘squeezable frame’ and more.
“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,” Google SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh said in a blog post.
HTC, on the other hand, has confirmed that it will continue operating its smartphone business following the deal, and will ensure “continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and Vive virtual reality businesses”, according to HTC CEO Cher Wang. Moreover, HTC’s next flagship smartphone is already said to be in the works.
Earlier, HTC had suspended its shares ahead of the rumoured acquisition by Google. Unlike the previous Nexus series, Google wishes to build their own smartphones to keep up with other mainstream players in the market such as Huawei, Samsung, and others.
According to the reports, the money invested by Android’s parent company will be used by HTC to boost their smartphone lineups to the next level with Google’s Project Tangi based AR-enabled devices, IoT-AI powered products, and VR technologies including Vive.
“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,” Osterloh further said.
According to HTC, the transaction is expected to close by early 2018 subject to regulatory approval post this agreement.