Google Acquired HTC Pixel Smartphone Team at $1.1B

Google announced it purchased the Pixel HTC intelligent mobile phone team for $1.1 billion.

On September 21, 2017, both Google and HTC announced Google had reached a $1.1 billion agreement with HTC. According to the agreement, some members of the HTC Mobile Devices Department – mainly the Pixel mobile team – would join Google. In exchange, Google would get part of HTC’s exclusive intellectual property rights. HTC would retain its own brand and team and continue to launch new products.

“About 2000 researchers and technicians in Pixel will work for Google. At the same time, HTC will authorize Google to use some of its IP. We have nearly ten thousand properties. The authorization is non-exclusive, so HTC can also offer authorization to other manufacturers or partners,” said Zhang Jialin, president of HTC’s smart phone and the Internet of things.

Recently, Rick Osterloh, a senior vice president of Google hardware, wrote in his blog:

“It’s been a busy few months since we introduced our second-generation family of Made by Google products. We’ve heard from so many of you that our new products have been helpful in your everyday lives – whether you’re taking stunning portrait mode photos with the new Pixel 2, getting hands-free help around the house with the Google Home Mini, or using real-time translation in 40 languages with Google Pixel Buds. But even with all the great things these products can do, building hardware is … hard, and there’s still a long journey ahead.

“That’s why I’m delighted that we’ve officially closed our deal with HTC, and are welcoming an incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come. These new colleagues bring decades of experience achieving a series of ‘firsts’ – particularly in the smartphone industry – including bringing to market the first 3G smartphone in 2005, the first touch-centric phone in 2007, and the first all-metal unibody phone in 2013. This is also the same team we’ve been working closely with on the development of the Pixel and Pixel 2.

“As our hardware business enters its third year, we remain committed to building and investing for the long run. Today, we start digging in with our new teammates, guided by the mission to create radically helpful experiences for people around the world, by combining the best of Google’s AI, software and hardware.

“Finally, with the official close of this deal, we’re expanding our footprint in the Asia-Pacific region. Taiwan is a key innovation and engineering hub for Google, and Taipei will now become the largest Google engineering site in APAC.”

Obviously, the deal has greatly promoted the development of Google hardware business. Google has built a new engineering base in Taipei, which will become its largest base in the region. It is very likely Google will create new products there in the future.

In addition, the completion of the deal is also a sign of the development of Google in Asia in recent months.

Google AI China Center

Google announced plans to establish the Google AI China Center Center at the Developers Conference in Beijing in December 2017. The center is led by Fei-fei Li and Dr Jia Li, Google Cloud research leader. Google also set up an office in Shenzhen and invested in Chushou, a live broadcast product, XtalPi, a Sino-US joint venture biotechnology company, and Go-Jek, an Indian car-hailing App.

This article originally appeared in Leiphone and was translated by Pandaily.