While it was rumored a few days ago that HTC would be acquired by Google, that wasn’t exactly the case. It appears that the Mountain View company and HTC have reached an agreement worth $1.1 billion for acquiring the team behind the Google Pixel smartphone and all its licensing technology rights.
This means HTC still gets to make their own smartphones, flagship or otherwise, while the employees of the Pixel division get transferred to Google. Additionally, Google also gets the non-exclusive license for using HTC intellectual property for the mobile hardware that’s designed at Google. The deal between the two companies is expected to be finalized by early next year after all the regulatory approvals are cleared. Meanwhile, there were reports that HTC’s financial results were very poor, despite the fact that the HTC U11 is a great flagship smartphone, to begin with. The acquisition of the Pixel team hopefully means that we will get to see exciting new Pixel smartphones in the near future.
“As a pioneer of the smartphone market, we are very proud of our history of innovation. Our unmatched smartphone value chain, including our IP portfolio, and world-class talent and system integration capabilities, have supported Google in bolstering the Android market,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman, and CEO of HTC. “This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses. We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services.”
“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.”
It’s worth mentioning that Google did acquire Motorola at one point, where we all thought to see exciting new devices. But that acquisition was short-lived and Motorola was sold off to Lenovo, which is more the reason now why all the latest Motorola smartphones come with the Lenovo branding. We should also remind you that Microsoft and Nokia did also reach an agreement for the acquisition of the Lumia smartphone division. While the Lumia smartphones were good in their own right, the competition favored more for Android and Apple smartphones. (We are glad that Nokia is back and entered the Android platform to release several good smartphones, including the Nokia 8 flagship and the Nokia 3 entry-level smartphone).
That said, Google is expected to unveil the second-generation Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones by early next month. While the first Pixel smartphone was made by HTC, there are some rumors hinting that the new Pixel 2 XL will be manufactured by LG. The specifications of these devices will most likely include the Snapdragon 835 and 4GB RAM. Recently, a couple of renders were leaked, which suggests that the Pixel 2 will come in new colors like the Kinda Blue, Clearly White, and Just Black. The Pixel 2 XL is also expected to release in Just Black and a Black and White color as well. The Pixel 2 is expected to be priced at $649 (AED 2380) for the 64GB model and $749 (AED 2751) for the 128GB model. However, the Pixel 2 XL gets more expensive, with the 64GB likely to be priced at $849 (AED 3118) and the 128GB model for $949 (AED 3485).