Google Buys HTC’s Smartphone Design Division

It’s no secret that Google has its hands in about everything when it comes to technology. From its traditional search engine to its subsidiary autonomous vehicle company, Waymo, Google continues to branch into every corner of the tech industry. Now, it has put its stamp on the mobile phone market with the purchase of most of HTC’s smartphone design division for $1.1 billion. About 2,000 engineers will transition from HTC to Google; however, the team will remain in Taiwan, which has become Google’s biggest engineering hub in Asia. Oddly enough, HTC will continue to create its own smartphones to compete against Google’s Pixel series. Bold move HTC, but it’s going to be tough with only a sliver of your mobile department remaining.

Google Pixel

The Google-HTC connection is nothing new, as they have worked together on a contract basis to design and develop the first two editions of the Pixel series. The mega-deal is just the latest move that symbolizes a massive expansion to Google’s smartphone operations in an effort to compete with industry giants Apple and Samsung. Having an in-house R&D department will allow the Alphabet company to channel its focus on modern design and innovation.

Google’s Battle With Apple

Google has been upfront about the goals it has set for its smartphone division, and at the top of the list is taking on Apple. More specifically, Google wants the Pixel sales to compete with iPhone sales. With the acquisition of HTC’s design division, Google plans to begin creating its own smartphone chips, which is something that Apple has done to stand out. Google Hardware Senior VP Rick Osterloh spoke with The Verge about the company’s goals. “We don’t want it to be a niche thing,” Osterloh said. “We hope to be selling products in high volumes in five years.”