Google Buys HTC's Pixel Division for $1.1 Billion

Posted on September 21, 2017

Google Pixel Lightblue smartphone

Google is buying HTC's Pixel division for $1.1 billion. HTC is the contract manufacturer for Google's Pixel division so Google will now provide its own hardware expertise as well as the software for its Pixel smartphones and other products. As Reuters notes, this is Google's second foray into smartphone hardware. Google's first was when it acquired Motorola in 2011. This deal is considerably smaller than the Motorola acquisition.

Google and HTC call the deal a "cooperation agreement" in press releases. Google will receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property as part of the deal. 2,000 HTC employees will be joining Google. Reuters notes that Google is not acquiring any manufacturing assets from HTC.

Mia Huang, analyst at research firm TrendForce, tells Reuters, "Google has found it necessary to have its own hardware team to help bring innovations to Android devices, making them competitive versus the iPhone series."

Google's announcement was made by Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Hardware. Osterloh says in part of his post, "It's still early days for Google's hardware business. We're focused on building our core capabilities, while creating a portfolio of products that offers people a unique yet delightful experience only made possible by bringing together the best of Google software-like the Google Assistant-with thoughtfully designed hardware. HTC has been a longtime partner and has created some of the most beautiful, high-end devices on the market. We can't wait to welcome members of the HTC team to join us on this journey."

The first Google Pixel phones were announced in 2016. Google will announce the second generation of Pixel smartphones at a press event on October 4.

Image: Google
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