Google is competing against Apple and Amazon by making a big buy into smartphone hardware. The company is acquiring part of HTC’s mobile division team for $1.1 billion. This acquisition includes 2,000 employees and access to HTC’s intellectual property.
“These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s head of hardware, wrote in a blog post. “The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.”
At first sight, it seems like a win-win for both parties. HTC will survive in the competitive smartphone market thanks to the cash injection. Google, on the other hand, can continue its big bet on hardware. But will the gamble turn out to be a winning one?
Let’s not forget Google’s history with hardware. Five years ago, the company invested $12.5 billion in Motorola, which then struggled to make a place in the market. It also paid more than $3 billion in 2014 for home device maker Nest Labs, which is still struggling to make money.
It’s hard to call the whole thing a success, but Google is trying to get more serious and involved in hardware development. Let’s see if the company will be successful this time!
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