Google has gone shopping, spending $1.1bn on picking up some of the key Pixel team from long-time Android partner HTC. It’s not the outright acquisition that many predicted, and nor is it a wholesale sell-off of the HTC smartphone team. Instead, the deal – though couched in the usual “testament to the decade-long strategic relationship between HTC and Google” hyperbole – seems more akin to a hybrid talent-grab and bailout, dressed as cooperation. Here’s what you need to know.
1. No, Google hasn’t bought HTC
HTC will still be a separate company, even after the agreement between it and Google closes in early 2018. The phone-maker will continue to have its own staff, largely unchanged it appears, and it’ll have its own “branded smartphone strategy” even amid “a more streamlined product portfolio” as HTC phrases it.
The $1.1bn involved in the transaction reflects that: HTC would undoubtedly have wanted significantly more if it had been selling off the whole business. That’s assuming it could even find someone to buy it all.
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