Google has completed the acquisition of a part of HTC‘s smartphone division. The deal, valued at $1.1 billion, will give a boost to Google’s hardware prowess as a portion of HTC’s smartphone development team will be now be re-aligned to the web giant.
The decision to purchase the large chunk of HTC’s hardware business was announced back in September 2017. It has now reached its completion after the necessary approvals. As part of the deal, over 2,000 engineers from HTC will be transferred to Google. The company will also receive a non-exclusive license to HTC’s intellectual property.
It is to be noted that the deal will have no impact on HTC’s own line of smartphones. The company had announced last year that it will continue to make its own smartphones and will retain its Vive VR division, TechCrunch reports.
Google partnered with HTC for its Pixel hardware and with the deal reaching its completion, HTC’s engineering base in Taipei, Taiwan will make it the search engine’s largest site in the Asia Pacific region. It is likely to become the source of new Google products in the coming years.
Given Google’s new focus on building its self-branded line of hardware, the acquisition of a large portion of HTC’s smartphone business is a step ahead in that direction. With HTC’s smartphone team on board, Google will now be able to better compete with the likes of Samsung, LG and Apple in the premium segment. This is also seen as a step towards achieving the kind of hardware/software synergy Apple is known for.
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The deal is also seen as an advancement of Google’s business plans in Asia in the recent months. It follows the company’s plans of opening an AI lab in Beijing, investment in China-based streaming service Chushou, and Indonesian ride-hailing service Go-Jek, among others.