The rumors have been confirmed – Google will pay $1.1 billion for part of Taiwanese manufacturer HTC’s smartphone talent to beef up the tech giant’s hardware expertise.
As part of the transaction about 2,000 employees, many of whom HTC said are already working with Google on Pixel handsets, will join Google, according to the New York Times. Google will also receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.
“With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization,” Google’s SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh said in a blog post. “The future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team.”
With the new pool of talent Google appears to be bolstering efforts to produce its own hardware, with Osterloh noting the agreement is a continuation of Google’s “big bet on hardware.”
HTC for its part will continue its smartphone business, and the manufacturer said it’s currently working on a flagship phone. HTC will also focus on virtual reality and work to grow its VIVE business.
“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,” HTC Chairwoman and CEO Cher Wang commented. “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.”
The deal is expected to close by early 2018.