Google has agreed to take over staff and assets of smartphone maker HTC for $1.1 billion. Google said the takeover will strengthen its hardware business, including the Pixel smartphones on which HTC already cooperates. HTC will continue to make smartphones and VR devices under its own brand.
Google also receives a non-exclusive licence to HTC’s intellectual property. The company said the deal also represents a “significant investment by Google in Taiwan as a key innovation and technology hub”.
HTC has suffered a sharp fall in sales in recent years and said the deal with Google will allow it to continue its own branded smartphone strategy, “enabling a more streamlined product portfolio, greater operational efficiency and financial flexibility”.
HTC has been a long-time Google partner. When the Android OS launched in 2008, HTC transitioned from the Windows market to the new system and made the first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1. Since then it has partnered with Google several times on Nexus devices.
Google also confirmed that it will unveil its next Pixel phone and new hardware products on 04 October. The transaction with HTC is expected to close by early 2018.