Rumors have been swirling around about an HTC acquisition by Google, and it kinda sorta almost happened. The two companies have announced a whopping $1.1 billion cooperation agreement that’s not quite a full buyout, but should still help both companies long term.
Right now, Google is going to acquire some of HTC’s employees, many of which were already working on Pixel smartphones. In exchange, HTC gets $1.1 billion in cash from Google, and separately, Google gets a non-exclusive license for HTC IP.
So what exactly does all of this mean? For starters, both companies will remain separate, and HTC can continue to push out their crop of devices. We’ll definitely see the HTC U12 or whatever they decide to call it, and they’ll continue to work on the Vive brand. Google, meanwhile, gets some patents and engineering talent to help out with the Pixel line. Sounds like a win/win situation, especially since HTC gets to avoid nasty layoffs.
It also means that Google is really putting their skin in the game with the Pixel family, too. We’ve heard rumors of Google developing an in-house CPU for their smartphones, and this investment will allow them to focus on hardware without having to actually buy a company, a la Motorola.
Anyone that’s an HTC fan should be thrilled with this news, at least in the short term. Let’s just hope they make the best of the situation.