Google is biting off a big piece of device manufacturer HTC for $1.1 billion to expand its efforts to build phones, speakers and other gadgets equipped with its arsenal of digital services. It's buying the HTC engineering team that built the Pixel smartphone for Google in a cash deal, the companies said in a joint statement Thursday. Google is also getting a non-exclusive license for Taiwan-based HTC's intellectual property to help support Pixel phones. The deal underscores how serious Google is becoming about designing its own family of devices to compete against Apple and Amazon in a high-stakes battle to become the technological hub of people's lives. "We think this is a very important step for Google in our hardware efforts," Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president of hardware, said at a news conference in Taipei, Taiwan.
Columnist Ed Baig reviews Pixel, which features the high-IQ Google Assistant and a competitive, high-end smartphone camera. The Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google said Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, it is ending its so-called "first click free," a policy loathed by many publishers and media because it required a limited amount of free content from them before readers could be subjected to a paywall. The next Pixel phones are coming, and Google wants you to know they're hoping to leave competitors -- namely two glossy, recently launched rivals from Samsung and Apple -- in the dust. Weeks ahead of Wednesday's expected launch, Google teased the devices in YouTube and TV promo videos that asked, "What's wrong with my phone's battery?
Google will announce a number of new products on October 4, reportedly including two new phones, a smaller version of the Google Home, and a high-end laptop. And on Wednesday, the company announced an agreement with struggling manufacturer HTC that will import a team of engineers over to Google, to help close the gap between Mountain View's hardware ambitions and its present reality. The tie-up's not quite the acquisition that had been rumored, but rather a "cooperation agreement." Google is hiring a team of HTC employees--about 2,000 people in all, members of HTC's "Powered by HTC" division--most of whom have already been working on Google's Pixel phones. Those employees will stay in Taipei, Taiwan, where HTC is headquartered, but they'll become full-on Googlers.
Nearly four years after selling Motorola off to Lenovo, Google is buying into yet another longtime Android partner, HTC. But instead of purchasing the company outright, Google is buying its brains. Google already knows these brains well. "A team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization," Google hardware SVP (and former Motorola president) Rick Osterloh said Thursday. Reports from the New York Times and other sources have pegged the number of employees at approximately 2,000 (or up to $550,000 per employee, if you're doing the math).
Is Google following the footsteps of Apple in ditching the universal 3.5mm headphone jack on its latest smartphones? Sadly, the answer is yes according to an integral Google document, which also asserts that the Mountain View giant could instead be including a single USB Type-C port for charging and audio purposes on the upcoming Pixel 2. On Monday, 9To5Google reported about getting its hands on an integral document from from Google that mentions details about the next flagship smartphone offering of the technology company. The document specifically indicates that the jack is not part of the features of the Pixel's successor. If true, it's clear that Google changed its mind about keeping the legacy of the universal jack. When the company introduced its first Pixel-branded phones, it proudly stated that the jack has become a key feature considering that Apple did not equip its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets with the well established audio port.