"HTC has been a longtime partner of Google and has created some of the most lovely, premium devices on the market", said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google, in a released statement. The agreement also grants Google a non-exclusive license for a large part of HTC's intellectual property portfolio.
The deal, which needs regulatory approval, is expected to close by early 2018.
Rick further hinted that Google will continue to amplify the smartphone business following the Pixel smartphones, which were launched past year as "made by Google" phones. HTC has been in the smartphone game for a while now and the company has produced some attractive hardware, and now Google will have some of those people creating hardware for it. HTC will also continue to work on Vive VR, Internet of Things, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, all of which will remain independent to the Google deal.
"We've signed an agreement with HTC, a leader in consumer electronics, that will fuel more product innovation in the years ahead", Google senior vice president Rick Osterloh explains vaguely. Currently, Google designs the device and all the software that runs on it, but specific production engineering issues are handled HTC, as is manufacturing.More news: Microsoft finally brings the Xbox One S to India after one year
Pixel smartphones, will now officially be a part of Google.
HTC manufactured Pixel line of phones, but Google wanted more control, and more flexibility.
Google is clearly planning to aggressively push its smartphone business, especially after the success of its Pixel series. However, that development didn't result in any great success for any of the two companies and ultimately led to the acquisition of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for US$2.91 billion. Osterloh emphasised that Google's hardware business is still in its infancy, with the team focused on building "core capabilities".
As speculated yesterday, Google will pay $1.1 bn in cash for HTC's hardware division that makes its Pixel phones. The partnership continued with the Nexus 9 tablet in 2014 and the first Pixel smartphones that were launched previous year.