Google’s move to acquire the smartphone design division within HTC has now been sealed. This also marks the official culmination of the much talked about a deal worth $1.1 billion which will lead to more than 2,000 of HTC employees now joining the Google rolls.
The deal is also significant as this will lead the Mountain View company to actually set up an engineering and design center in Taipei, Taiwan where the employees will be working. This will also emerge as one of the biggest Google-owned design and engineering hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Also, being the most talented HTC staff engaged in R&D efforts, the new staff infusion is expected to bring about a quantum jump is Google’s efforts to produce top of the line phones featuring the most cutting-edge technology on a consistent basis.
The deal with HTC also brings out Google’s keenness to become a true force with the high stakes of flagship smartphone segment. Google has already stated its Pixel range is meant for only the high and mighty and is required to have the design and feature set to compete with established players of the likes of Apple or Samsung.
Acquiring HTC’s R&D staff also makes sense for Google given that it already has extensive experience working with the Taiwanese company. The original Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones as well as the recent Pixel 2 has been a collaboration effort between Google and HTC. Having the same team within Google’s own hardware division will ensure greater cohesion within Google which presumably will lead to better designed and technologically robust Pixel variants in future.
As for HTC, the cash infusion will ensure its survival for a few more years. HTC also is doing relatively better with its VR and contract manufacturing business, and both have been kept out of the purview of the deal with Google.
HTC meanwhile also said they would continue to compete in the smartphone segment and will launch new products in due time. While that ensures there will be a successor the U11 forthcoming sometime later this year, it will be interesting to see how the smartphones come out to be now that HTC’s R&D is down to half its original strength.