Today, Google announced an agreement that they have made with HTC. The agreement will see Google paying HTC $1.1 Billion in cash for some people who are part of HTC’s mobile division. As part of the agreement, Google will also get a nonexclusive license for HTC intellectual property.
The two companies have been partners for a long time as HTC, starting all the way back to the first ever Android smartphone, the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1. The partnership continued on as Google started the Nexus line of smartphones whose hardware was manufactured by different leading smartphone makers while Google provided the stock Android software.
HTC manufactured the as the Nexus One in 2010 and the Nexus 9 tablet in 2014. Last year, Google decided to end the Nexus line and start their own flagship smartphone line which was branded by them, unlike the Nexus line. The first of that smartphone line was the Google Pixel smartphone and the hardware for the device was manufactured by HTC.
Google has decided to bring that team of HTC talent to their hardware organization instead of contracting the company for the talent repeatedly since they’ve already been working closely with them on the Pixel smartphone line. Now, HTC will still continue on with their smartphone business even after sending a significant portion of their mobile team to Google.
Given how Google hasn’t really made smartphone hardware in-house and have often contracted other manufacturers to make the hardware, it makes sense for them to get this team of people onboard their hardware division considering they’ve already worked together before. What’s interesting to see is how Google will use this talent and the HTC intellectual property they have acquired to make the next generations of their Pixel smartphone devices.
For HTC, it’s quite a substantial cash in for their business which should keep them above water as they aim to release their next flagship smartphones and hopefully keep people interested in their devices. From a quick glance, it seems like a win-win deal but if Google manages to make some magic with the people they got from HTC and incorporating the HTC intellectual property they got, it may potentially just end up running HTC out of the smartphone business given how there’s already some stiff competition for HTC and they aren’t doing as well as they could be right now.
What do you think about this? Is it a good deal for HTC or did they just put the last nail in their coffin? Are you an HTC fan or a Pixel fan? Do you think HTC smartphones will still be here in 5 or 10 years? Let us know what you think in the comments section down below. Given how we’ve mentioned intellectual property quite a bit, you might be interested in reading this article on how to protect your ideas in Zimbabwe.