Google signs $1.1bn HTC smartphone deal
Alphabet’s Google has struck a $1.1bn (£822m) deal with Taiwan’s HTC to expand its smartphone business.Google will not take a stake in the firm, but some HTC staff will join the Silicon Valley giant.
The Taiwanese company was once a major player in the smartphone market but has struggled to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. Google expects the deal to close by early 2018, provided it gets the all clear from regulators. Shares in HTC were suspended in Taiwan on Thursday.
The deal marks the latest move by Google to boost its hardware capabilities “It’s still early days for Google’s hardware business,” the firm’s senior vice-president of hardware Rick Osterloh said in a blog post on Google’s website. Under the deal, Google will acquire a team of people who develop Pixel smartphones for the US Company and receive a non-exclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property.
It builds on an existing partnership between the two tech companies. “These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line,” Mr Osterloh said. According to HTC half their smartphone research and development team – about 2,000 people – will go to Google.
HTC manufactures Google’s smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. The company will release updated version of the devices next month.