Just as expected, Google and HTC have struck a deal.
Google will give HTC $1.1 billion in exchange for “certain HTC employees” joining Google. It’s said that many of the employees that’ll be joining Google from HTC worked on Pixel smartphones.
Separately, Google is also getting a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property (IP).
This deal is subject to regulatory approval and closing conditions and is expected to close by early 2018.
While HTC is losing some smartphone employees, this agreement doesn’t mean that HTC will be exiting the smartphone business. In fact, HTC says that it’s got people working on its next flagship smartphone. HTC adds that the plan supports its smartphone strategy by helping it to streamline its product portfolio as well as give it better operational efficiency and financial flexibility.
Here’s what HTC CEO Cher Wang had to say about this deal with Google:
“As a pioneer of the smartphone market, we are very proud of our history of innovation. Our unmatched smartphone value chain, including our IP portfolio, and world-class talent and system integration capabilities, have supported Google in bolstering the Android market. This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses. We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services.”
And here’s Rick Osterloh, Google’s SVP of Hardware:
“HTC has been a longtime partner of Google and has created some of the most beautiful, premium devices on the market. We’re excited and can’t wait to welcome members of the HTC team who will be joining Google to fuel further innovation and future product development in consumer hardware.”
Osterloh also teased that “it’s still early days for Google’s hardware business,” but the addition of these HTC smartphone employees should give Google’s efforts a nice boost. HTC has been in the smartphone game for a while now and the company has produced some attractive hardware, and now Google will have some of those people creating hardware for it.
Meanwhile, HTC is getting a nice infusion of cash with this deal. The company hasn’t exactly been putting up a strong performance in mobile lately, but getting $1.1 billion from Google will help to give it some more room to breath and work on its smartphone and Vive efforts.