The third quarter of 2017 saw Google acquire 2,000 HTC engineers and intellectual property, as well as the launch of their second Made by Google line of products. During today’s earnings call, Sundar Pichai talked more about that deal, as well as their broader hardware business.

During this quarter’s recap, the Google CEO talked about the Home Max, Pixel 2, and how this year the company plans to get devices into more people’s hands by scaling their go-to-market strategy.

We’re investing more in marketing. We’re launching in more countries. And we’re offering these devices in more retailers.

And we’re already seeing results. Pre-orders of Pixel on day one this year were more than double what they were last year.

Meanwhile, investors were interested in the hardware business following the huge commitment that was the $1.1 billion acquisition of 2,000 HTC engineers and non-exclusive IP rights. When asked about Google’s goal, Pichai reiterated that the company is “very seriously committed” to hardware for a few reasons.

“The intersection of hardware and software is how you drive computing forward.”

He went on to note how technology is moving into an era where there will be different types of computing. In order to push a vision in midst of varying and competing experiences, Google has to “put [their] opinion forward.”

This was best seen by products like Google Clips and Pixel Buds that use AI to offer new experiences like automatic photo capture and real-time translation, respectively.

On the HTC deal, Pichai believes it is a “win-win construct” that allows the Taiwanese company to focus on their phones and other products.

For Google, the deal is not just about getting “best in class” talent for phones, though Pichai said that “this deal lays the foundation for our continued efforts next year.” He argues that the HTC contingent is bringing expertise and “capability” for other product categories, specifically citing Google Home and virtual reality, that Google is entering.


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