Google's rumoured acquisition of part of HTC's phone business is now official. It has paid $1.1 billion to take on some of HTC's staff and hardware expertise, including the team assigned to designing Pixel smartphones.
It has also signed an agreement for a non-exclusive licence of HTC's intellectual properties.
This basically means that Google cam build its own Pixel phones and other hardware projects in future, using HTC IPs. However, it hasn't acquired HTC's smartphone business entirely, as previously rumoured, and the Taiwanese company can continue building its own phones too.
HTC, it is said, will continue to build a flagship follow-up to the HTC U11 under its own brand.
Google hasn't bought any of HTC's Vive VR business, which will continue to operate under its own steam. The two companies have collaborated on, what is thought to be called, the HTC Vive Focus though. The new headset will provide standalone, wire-free mobile virtual reality based on Google's Daydream platform.
Previous rumours had pointed to evidence that the entire phone business would switch to Google, even though the HTC brand wasn't to be part of the deal. And that was partly true.
Google has dabbled with manufacturing its own phones in the past. It bought smartphone maker Motorola for $12.5 billion, before selling it again to Lenovo. And while it is odd that Google wants to get in the smartphone-making business again just three years later, it obviously has an interest in hardware and growing new revenue streams.
Bloomberg first claimed only last month that HTC could potentially sell its smartphone division due to dwindling sales.
Google is expected to release new Pixel phones and possibly a new touchscreen Chromebook this autumn, and by purchasing HTC, it'd be able to offer deeper integration of hardware and software on future devices.
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