Google to buy HTC’s Pixel team for $1.1 billion

Android / Business / Google / Mobile / Tech
Pixel XL

The deal involves HTC’s “Powered by HTC” R&D division.

We’ve seen rumors off and on for weeks, and it seems that they were true. Google is buying HTC’s Pixel team for a cool $1.1 billion USD. Many figured that something was up when HTC halted trading earlier today, and it turns out that something was, indeed, up.

TWSE announced trading in the shares of  HTC Corporation (Code2498) and the securities underlying the company will be halted starting from Sep 21 2017 pending the release of material information.  The company will apply for resumption of trading after the release of material information.

The deal involves HTC’s “Powered by HTC” R&D division, who were responsible for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. The deal will bring approximately half of the 4000 employees in the “Powered by HTC” division over to El Goog, with the side benefit of Google getting a non-exclusive license to all of HTC’s patents and intellectual property.

At this point we’ll have to wait and see what Google will do with the chunk of HTC they’ve just purchased. We’ve seen Google buy a phone manufacturer before only to bungle it badly and sell it for pennies on the dollar compared to what they paid. We’re also about to see the unveiling of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in the next few weeks, so maybe the HTC team will start getting to work on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

The HTC name will live on, with the company continuing to develop their own flagship mobile products as well as their Vive VR products. Maybe Google will make productive use of the “Powered by HTC” team in this instance, but anecdotal evidence doesn’t look good here. $1 billion is a lot of money to pay for some patents, but Google has done it before, so who’s to say they haven’t gone and done it again?

Google’s blog on the topic was wildly complimentary on the subject, pointing out the long history between Google and HTC:

In many ways, this agreement is a testament to the decade-long history of teamwork between HTC and Google. Together, we’ve achieved several mobile-industry firsts, including the first ever Android smartphone, the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1 (I loved mine!); as well as the Nexus One in 2010, the Nexus 9 tablet in 2014, and the first Pixel smartphone just last year.

While I will certainly hope for the best from this acquisition, Google’s history with smartphone manufacturer purchases isn’t great so far. Hopefully this bucks that trend and works out as a positive for all involved.

What do you think about Google buying the Pixel team from HTC? Will this deal result in any direct benefits or new phones direct from Google? Or is this simply a patent grab? Tell us what you think in the comment section below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Engadget  Source: TWSE
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