Google officially closes HTC deal, promises ‘more innovative products in the years to come’

While Google worked closely with the likes of HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Huawei and Asus on Nexus phones and tablets between 2010 and 2015, the Mountain View-based search giant continues to insist its mobile hardware-manufacturing debut came with the first Pixel in the fall of 2016.

But even the Snapdragon 821-powered 5 and 5.5-incher that were explicitly billed as “Made by Google” technically came from HTC’s factories, with the Taiwanese company’s engineers deeply involved in the making of the Pixel and Pixel XL handsets.

That’s obviously set to change after Google’s partial HTC acquisition, announced back in September, approved by Taiwanese regulators last month, and officially finalized today.

Rick Osterloh, Google’s Senior Vice President of Hardware, doesn’t go into financial detail in a new blog post, merely expressing his delight at “welcoming an incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come.”

Of course, we already know Big G agreed to cough up $1.1 billion, not touching any of HTC’s VR-related assets while gaining a non-exclusive license for key intellectual property needed to continue “building and investing for the long run” in high-end smartphones rivaling Apple and Samsung’s flagships.

These will combine “the best of Google’s AI, software and hardware”, as well as leverage the “decades of experience”  brought to the table by the newly acquired engineering team. These are the same people that helped shape up the Pixel and Pixel 2 (but not the 2 XL), and they will stay in Taipei, which is now Google’s largest engineering site in APAC.

For its part, HTC is still committed to own-brand products with the remaining workforce, currently developing a U12 flagship that’s unlikely to debut at next month’s Mobile World Congress.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).