Alphabet-owned Google has moved to bring its smartphone hardware in-house with the acquisition of HTC’sPixel smartphone team for $1.1bn, a move which signals fresh aggression in Google’s own smartphone and virtual reality ambitions in the wake of HTC’s flagging sales.
The package cements ties between the internet firm and the Taiwanese smartphone maker, with Google also assuming non-exclusive rights to HTC intellectual property.
Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO at HTC commented: "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.”
In turn Google will ramp up its own in-house Made by Google products, an ever-growing family of gadgets which now includes Pixel smartphones, Google Home voice assistant, Google Wifi, the Daydream View VR headset and Chromecast Ultra streaming dongle.
HTC has been struggling to retain market share since reaching a peak of 10% in 2011, slumping to less than 2% today.
The partnership remains subject to regulatory approval but is expected to complete by early 2018.
In 2014, within two-years, Google lost almost $9bn on a deal it did with Motorola when it sold it onto Lenovo for $2.91bn.