Google, HTC sign $1.1 billion cooperation agreement

Google, HTC sign $1.1 billion cooperation agreement

$1 billion is a lot of money to pay for some patents, but Google has done it before, so who's to say they haven't gone and done it again?

Google is no stranger to buying out mobile hardware companies.

HTC declined to comment on market speculation. In 2010 the company once had a respectable 7.7% of the global smartphone market, according to research firm according to Counterpoint. By previous year that share had plummeted to less than 1%, or 12.8 million phones, Counterpoint data show. And just yesterday, HTC fueled Google acquisition rumors after they suspend trading.

What does this mean for HTC?

Taiwanese media previously reported the planned deal.

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The transaction will help HTC to excel with its upcoming flagship smartphone (which is already being worked on), and HTC will continue to expand its VIVE VR platform as well as invest in IoT, AR, and AI. In 2012 it undertook what proved to be a disastrous US$12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola, although the circumstances were quite different. Greater control of hardware production would also give Google more control over the distribution of new services such as its voice-based digital assistant. That segment also includes its rapidly growing cloud business. Whether it will sell even that to some other buyer is yet unknown, but it's better than ending up with Google, where it would have languished until canceled and forgotten. Will this deal result in any direct benefits or new phones direct from Google? "This could certainly accelerate Google's ability to make its own hardware significantly and with that capability to really improve its integration and optimization efforts, something that Apple has long had as a huge advantage over Android smartphone vendors".

With a portion of HTC's smartphone business now a part of Google, it can directly challenge the dominating run of Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, Huawei and others, though it will continue using "3rd-party hardware" developed by Qualcomm.

The purchase of HTC could inflame those tensions.

A more Apple-like approach would also let Google steer the Android mobile operating system in its preferred direction. Sounds like a win/win situation, especially since HTC gets to avoid nasty layoffs. The first Android phone is actually an HTC device-the HTC Dream in case you've forgotten.