Google has announced its $1.1 billion partnership with leading consumer electronics company, HTC. The transaction, pending approvals and customary closing conditions is anticipated to be completed by early 2018. The move comes right before Google is to unveil its second generation of products on October 4, suggesting that it will aim to invest further and broaden its offerings of products.
“Creating beautiful products that people rely on every single day is a journey, and we are investing for the long run,” said Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of hardware at Google, in a statement regarding the deal. “That’s why we’ve signed an agreement with HTC, a leader in consumer electronics that will fuel even more product innovation in the years ahead. With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization.”
Though specific plans for the partnership were not disclosed, a Google spokesman said that the deal would include a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property. Google has worked extensively with HTC on its Pixel smartphone most recently, but the companies also developed the first Android, HTC Dream and Nexus 9 tablet, among other devices.
“Our unmatched smartphone value chain, including our IP portfolio, and system integration capabilities, have supported Google in bolstering the Android market,” said Cher Wang, chairwoman and chief executive officer of HTC. “This agreement is a next step in our long-standing partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and Vive virtual reality businesses.”
The timing of the announcement appears strategic — given the upcoming release of Apple’s iPhone 8 tomorrow. Google’s investment in its in-house line of products highlights the ongoing battle for market share of smartphone and mobile devices. As consumers continue to shift their spending and search behavior to mobile, these tech giants stand to gain deep data, insights and of course revenue as the retail landscape continues to evolve.
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