Google com­pletes $1.1bn deal with HTC

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

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.”

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