Just before the October 4th event last year, Google made waves when it announced a $1.1 billion partial acquisition of HTC’s smartphone division. On Tuesday, hardware head Rick Osterloh revealed that the deal is officially complete.
Previous reports have pegged the acquihire as bringing on around 2,000 HTC employees, with Osterloh again only specifying that it’s the same team that Google worked with for the Pixel and Pixel 2. The company also gains a non-exclusive license to HTC’s intellectual property.
Osterloh also used the blog post to announce that Google is expanding its “footprint” in the Asia-Pacific, with Taipai — where HTC is headquartered — becoming Google’s largest engineering site in the region.
Looking ahead, he makes note of the hardware business entering its third year in 2018:
As our hardware business enters its third year, we remain committed to building and investing for the long run. Today, we start digging in with our new teammates, guided by the mission to create radically helpful experiences for people around the world, by combining the best of Google’s AI, software and hardware.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Bloomberg, the senior vice president of hardware noted that more “custom silicon” is planned for future Pixel devices in order to “really push the envelope for consumers.”
He also revealed that Google is planning on expanding hardware marketing, carrier/retailer deals in new countries, and research.
Concerns of a Motorola-Lenovo repeat were also addressed by Osterloh arguing that we are now in a “different” post-PC world where Google has bet on the merger of artificial intelligence, software, and hardware serving as a key differentiator.