Google Pays $1.1B To Acquire HTC’s Pixel Team, Intellectual Property Rights

Under a $1.1 billion collaboration agreement announced today, HTC employees who helped develop Google's Pixel smartphone will soon become official Googlers. In return, the struggling, Taiwan-based consumer electronics firm receives a financial shot in the arm to help it advance other technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.

The agreement launches the next stage of his company's long-term hardware development ambitions, Google senior vice president of hardware Rick Osterloh said today in a blog post.

HTC and Google have worked together on numerous projects over the past decade, most recently on the "Made by Google" Pixel (pictured center) and Pixel XL smartphones released in October 2016. HTC is also Google's partner in the development of the Pixel 2, expected to arrive on the market on Oct. 4, although the Pixel 2 XL will be made by LG.

'Investing for the Long Run'

Along with the new Pixel 2 phones, other Made by Google devices are also expected to debut on Oct. 4. Among the products that might be unveiled are updated versions of the Google Home intelligent home speaker, the Daydream View virtual reality headset, Google Wifi, and the Chromecast Ultra digital media player.

"We're excited about the 2017 lineup, but even more inspired by what's in store over the next five, 10, even 20 years," Osterloh said. "Creating beautiful products that people rely on every single day is a journey, and we are investing for the long run." That's why Google has signed a new agreement with HTC: to "fuel even more product innovation in the years ahead," he said.

The deal will help Google "supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses," said Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO of HTC, in a company statement.

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