Google pays HTC $1.1 billion for certain employees and a non-exclusive IP license

Google pays HTC $1.1 billion for certain employees and a non-exclusive IP license
Google and HTC have just announced the completion of a deal. Under the terms of the transaction, certain HTC employees, including many involved in the development of Pixel phones, will join Google. Another part of the deal will give Google a non-exclusive license for a portion of HTC's intellectual property. In return, Google will fork over $1.1 billion to the cash-starved HTC, which has reported a loss for nine consecutive quarters

While previous reports claimed otherwise, HTC is keeping its smartphone designing and manufacturing operations. In the press release that was disseminated to the media this evening (U.S. time), it was pointed out that HTC is currently working on its next flagship model following this year's HTC U11. The latter is the best high-end model released by HTC in years and includes the Edge Sense feature that allow users to squeeze the device to activate certain apps and features. Rumors suggesting that the next generation of Google Pixel phones may adopt Edge Sense functionality seem more credible now with Google having access to HTC intellectual property.

Although HTC is not giving up entirely on its smartphone designing and manufacturing capabilities, it would still have a hard time returning to earlier days when it produced some of the most innovative handsets available. First as a contract manufacturer (Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, Nexus One, T-Mobile G1) and then as a brand name manufacturer (HTC Touch Pro, HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Touch Pro2, HTC Touch Diamond2, HTC One M8), HTC had made a name for itself. But while recently the company has had problems competing with Android phone manufacturers like Samsung and LG, the deal with Google gives the company the financial wherewithal to continue working on producing the next great Android handset.


The deal is expected to close in early 2018.

source: HTC/Google

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34 Comments

1. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Since HTC is not giving up any of its smartphone designing and manufacturing capabilities, it means that the company remains passionate about returning to earlier times when the company produced some of the most innovative handsets available." Well that's excellent news!

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I think you are more happy with the fact that Google is now less of a threat to Apple. Such a devoted fan.

7. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

A) How does Google buying a segment of another organization somehow make them LESS of a threat to Apple? I would hope the opposite is the case. B) I've made it pretty clear; I really enjoy HTC and what they offer. If the U11 had just a little less bezel, I'd replace my HTC 10 with it with an almost 100% certainty. You're misguided in your assessment of my elation.

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Totally agree with you This seems like a great deal for HTC, Google and us HTC get $1.1 billion, hopefully enough to help get them back on track. Google get more engineers, designers, devs, ... Overall more competition and choice for us

24. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Looks like a lot of people here view you only as an Apple-only guy LOL Let's hope for the best for HTC.

26. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

His comment that an iPhone SE is better than a phone equips with an SD835 are still ringing in my ear. Yes, I view kiko007 as an exclusive Apple guy.

29. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I find PA article confusing so I read up from other sources. https://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelhelft/2017/09/20/google-pays-1-1-billion-for-htc-team-behind-pixel-phones/#2d133e6f67e3 Look like HTC has brought the Pixel team from HTC to Google so they have in fact achieved the ability to make Pixel phone in-house. "The HTC team transferring to Google, whose size the companies did not disclose, will work under Rick Osterloh, the veteran executive that Google brought in about 18 months ago to lead a new hardware unit" Well, I thought Google is doing charity work... hmmm. the joke is on me then. Google just allow HTC to continue to make HTC branded phone and to license their patent to anyone they choose. Actually, its a pretty sweet deal for Google.

31. IT-Engineer

Posts: 535; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Did you under his comment before commenting? All I understood from his comment is that he is glad for HTC since obviously he liked their phones.

32. Highside

Posts: 197; Member since: Jan 31, 2017

HTC died when they killed the QWERTY slider and removable battery & SD. When you try to clone Apple, you will always be inferior. I bought EVERY HTC slider. Now, F them.

2. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

This is.. heartbreaking

10. Busyboy

Posts: 731; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

What exactly is heartbreaking here? The non-exclusive licence gives Google the right to use HTC's intellectual property, which means HTC can also freely use it too. Aside from the loss of employees, I think this is a win for everyone; HTC gets the cash it desperately needs without giving up valuable patents.

13. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Win-win for real. I think this is what Google had a somewhat obligation to do for HTC, as a tribute to it's first ever Android OEM.

18. notfair

Posts: 722; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

do you thinks this is kindergarten? it's all about money. lol, "obligations..."

20. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Not every OEM can be greedy all the time.

23. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1382; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I think it's more about maintaining a proper manufacturing situation, with certain expertise going to benefit Google, while HTC gets a much needed capital injection to sustain it's operations for the near future. HTC probably more than any other Android manufacturer has lost ground over the years and with barely any other means of income was headed for eventual doom at which point it would've been easy pickings for Apple. This way HTC gets to keep producing phones in their own name, while primarily focusing on Google's Pixel range. For Google it means an experienced manufacturer will be making their devices, while experts previously in service of the manufacturer will go over to improve Google's devices. The goal being more specialized devices to challenge the market. This all seems connected to rumors that Google is pursuing it's own custom hardware in the future. Google is securing it's own future, without compromising the current Android market and manufacturers. I can imagine that once Google is ready to make its move, it'll secure it's own manufacturing capability, something to give it an edge over Apple, which is almost exclusively dependant on third parties.

3. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Google basically gives HTC free money to sustain their operation. Non-exclusive rights why would anyone need those if they are making the phone for you. Nevertheless, I wonder what Google investor thinks about such a ??? investment. LOL.

9. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

perhaps google sees something in htc and wishes to continue working with them with their line of pixel devices. , and if they did not make an investment into htc now, htc would soon be history. as in out of business. so it makes business sense for google/alphabet to invest ine hardware aspect

27. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

So can we think that Google has met their slogan of Don't be evil? Hmmm...

4. kotan24

Posts: 311; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Glad they're not dissapearing and wanna keep innovating like they always have.

15. Avieshek unregistered

Until you hear being sold off to Chinese OEM like Motorola.

6. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Well, I can't find Google got any good substance from this deal. HTC won a great $$ chunk. Congrats!

8. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Yes, now lets put that money to work HTC and bring back the king of smartphones because it his high time you create a true successor to the M8.

11. killer7D

Posts: 550; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

Cant wait to see the new flagship from htc ..

12. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

RIP motorola RIP windows phone RIP blackberry RIP HTC Who will be next? Sony?

17. Avieshek unregistered

Then LG

21. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Nah, LG isn't dying anytime soon.

14. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3101; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Great news. The real pioneers and innovators deserves much better. I hope they won't get screwed.

16. Avieshek unregistered

Motorola 2.0 LG's next.

19. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

What the hell is Google thinking? Seriously.....

25. raiter

Posts: 33; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Thank God, the HTC has not been completely sold (so will not goes the same way down as NOKIA etc). It seems, HTC managed to get some cash from Google, and hopefully, it will help HTC keep going on with new phones and (at least) to hold market share. It seemed, the latest HTC U11 sells well... More interesting where news, that Google is looking to get rid of Samsung dominance in Android world. So if Google really will succeed to develop and sell their own Pixel or nexus devices on significant amount (get real market share as Google/Pixel/whatever brand), and if Samsung will develop and muve towards their own Tizen OS, then it seems the world will lead to 3 dominating brands (Apple, GOogle, Samsung), with some other Android devices, mostly from China (Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE, OnePlus, Oppo, and Sony, and LG, and HTC).

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