The head of Google’s hardware business says the tech giant plans to increase the use of its own chip technology in the wake of its deal with Taiwanese device maker HTC.
Rick Osterloh, Google’s SVP for hardware, last week detailed the closing of the company’s purchase of part of HTC’s smartphone team for more than $1 billion.
The agreement with HTC, announced in September, shifts about 2,000 employees and some of the manufacturer’s intellectual property to Google. Many of the employees in question already worked on Google’s line of Pixel smartphones.
In addition to helping Google control more of its device production, Osterloh told Bloomberg that the acquisition could also prompt the development of more “custom silicon” in the future.
“You have to be vertical in some cases to really push the envelope for consumers,” Osterloh said in the interview. “Our intention is to invest in this for the long term. You’ll see a steady increase in investment from us.”
Although he added that Google will continue to work with Qualcomm, which supplies the bulk of the chips for device makers using Google’s Android operating system, the report noted that hardware and software increasingly need to be closely aligned to accommodate sophisticated systems supporting augmented reality or artificial intelligence.
Apple, for example, has used its own “system-on-a-chip” in its iPhones for eight years, and Osterloh said the reason for Google’s ambitions are no secret.
“Quite honestly, Apple is doing really well in developed markets,” he told the website.
Those efforts, however, could eventually prove problematic for both chip makers and manufacturers of Android-based phones.
Although Google dealt with reported problems and slow sales following the introduction of the Pixel 2, the company heavily promoted the new device in an effort to make waves in the global smartphone market.
The addition of HTC will enable Google to increase its research efforts, further bolster its marketing and expand its devices to more carriers, retailers and markets, Bloomberg reported.