Under terms of the agreement “a team of HTC talent” will join Google’s hardware organization. The HTC employees moving to Google worked as part of the “Powered by HTC” unit that developed the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Google also gained a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.
“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 Google SVP of hardware Rick Osterloh.
While part of HTC’s mobile unit is moving to Google, HTC will continue to develop and sell HTC-branded smartphones. HTC says the sale will allow for a “more streamlined product portfolio,” and that its next-generation flagship phone is already in development.
Google’s HTC purchase marks its second major smartphone-related acquisition. Google purchased Motorola Mobility in August of 2011 for $12.5 billion, mainly to get Motorola’s patents, and in 2014 sold the company to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.
With the acquisition of the HTC hardware team, Google will be able to more closely mimic Apple’s strategy of close integration between software and hardware.
Google’s next-generation Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones are set to debut at an October 4 launch event.
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