On Wednesday, the tech giant announced that it has entered into a $1.1 billion arrangement with Taiwan’s HTC, a deal which will effectively let Google hire a sizable part of HTC’s engineering team, tapping into their hardware expertise.
While it was not stated just how many HTC engineers will now be working for Google, HTC chief financial officer Peter Shen revealed that the company’s research and design team will now be reduced to just 2,000, down from the 4,000 manpower complement before the deal. However, the deal won’t likely hurt HTC’s operations as the estimated 2,000 employees affected by the deal were already working on Google’s Pixel smartphones, which were manufactured by HTC.
The latest move is in line with Google’s push to make it big in the smartphone and gadgets segment. In 2016, the company hired ex-Motorola chief Rick Osterloh to helm its new hardware division. A few months later Google announced the arrival of Pixel devices which were made with the help of HTC.
But with half of HTC’s engineers at its beck and call, Google’s bid to be among the top hardware players has become very serious. Effectively, the arrangement will allow the company to manufacture its own range of devices, which could make it serious competition for rivals Apple and Samsung.