Google has announced a deal to acquire the HTC Corp team behind the design of the Google Pixel for $1.1bn.
Shares were suspended in the Taiwanese firm amidst rumours of a big announcement coming from the HTC Corp offices. The deal was sealed and whilst this is widely reported as an acquisition, HTC would prefer you think of this as a ‘cooperation agreement’ based on their blog post on the subject.
HTC are of course responsible for some excellent hardware over the last decade and has a long stand history with Google, delivering their original Nexus phone, the Nexus One as well as their latest device, the Google Pixel.
The $1.1bn deal will involve no share or direct stake agreement and will instead see the team behind the design of the original Google Pixel device, some 2000 employees, move over to Google directly. As Google state, this shows Google’s hardware is here to stay.
“For Google, this agreement further reinforces its commitment to smartphones and overall investment in its emerging hardware business.”
The deal also allows Google non-exclusive rights to forthcoming HTC intellectual property, and whilst the team behind the Pixel will move onto Google’s books, HTC will retain some 2000 staff in its own mobile division to continue to create hardware for the smartphone and mobile markets. This is further backed by a press release from HTC.
“This agreement also supports HTC’s continued branded smartphone strategy, enabling a more streamlined product portfolio, greater operational efficiency and financial flexibility. HTC will continue to have best-in-class engineering talent, which is currently working on the next flagship phone, following the successful launch of the HTC U11 earlier this year.”
It looks like HTC have a few more devices in the offing so expect a successor to the HTC U11 shortly.