The rumors are (mostly) true: Google is buying a part of HTC to beef up its hardware business.
Google announced the agreement late Wednesday. Senior Vice President of Hardware Rock Osterloh wrote in a blog post that a “team of HTC talent” would join Google’s hardware team, along with a non-exclusive license for some of HTC’s intellectual property.
The deal is less dramatic than what was expected by many — that Google would buy HTC’s entire smartphone business in a long-term bid to go toe-to-toe with Apple in the smartphone market — but it does show Google felt it needed more direct control over hardware assets to be more nimble competitor.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but a Reuters report that broke just before the deal was announced said Google paid about $1 billion. By comparison, when Google acquired the entirety of Motorola Mobility in 2011, it paid $12.5 billion.
HTC, which has struggled financially in recent years as its influence in the smartphone market has dwindled, sent out a tweet shortly after the announcement proclaiming it’s “here to stay.”
Google’s Osterloh said the people leaving HTC were already working with Google on the Pixel smartphones, and that the second generation of Made by Google products — including the Pixel, Google Home, Chromecast, and Daydream View — would be revealed at the company’s upcoming Oct. 4 event in San Francisco.