Google completes $1.1bn deal with HTC
San Francisco, US - Google officially closed its US$1.1bn deal with HTC Corp, adding more than 2,000 smartphone specialists in Taiwan to help the search giant chase Apple Inc in the cutthroat premium handset market.
The deal will help Google design more of its own consumer hardware and could set it up to wade deeper into special-purpose chips - like Apple. Google’s most recent Pixel model came with a new image processor to improve the device’s camera. More of this ‘custom silicon’ will come in the future, Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said in an interview.
Osterloh brought in HTC engineers and designers to help Google control more of the design and production of its products, including working more closely with suppliers. Google previously focused on software and let manufacturers including Samsung Electronics Co and HTC handle the hardware. But modern phones offer features like augmented reality and Artificial Intelligence-based services that require close integration of software and hardware.
“You have to be vertical in some cases to really push the envelope for consumers,” Osterloh said. “Our intention is to invest in this for the long term. You’ll see a steady increase in investment from us.”