Google and HTC today announced that they have entered into a “definitive agreement” which will see certain HTC employees join Google. The agreement also provides Google with non-exclusive access to HTC’s Intellectual Property (IP). Google will be paying HTC $1.1 billion in return for this agreement.
The HTC employees who will now work under Google were already previously working closely with Google on Pixel smartphones. The deal does not mark the end for HTC as it will continue to operate as an independent entity and continue to work on smartphones, Vive, and other future technologies like IoT and AI. HTC’s press release even made it clear that the company is already working on its next flagship smartphone.
“HTC has been a longtime partner of Google and has created some of the most beautiful, premium devices on the market,” said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google. “We’re excited and can’t wait to welcome members of the HTC team who will be joining Google to fuel further innovation and future product development in consumer hardware.”
Google has been working closely with HTC for almost a decade now. Over the year, both companies have released many key devices including the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 – the first Android smartphone, Nexus One, Nexus 9, and more recently the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. HTC is rumored to be the manufacturing partner for the smaller 2nd gen. Pixel this year as well.
The agreement will allow Google to move more of the development of its Pixel smartphones in-house and provide it with even more creative control.