Google has signed an agreement with HTC Corporation worth $1.1 billion, which will see a group of HTC employees - mostly from the team that has been working with Google for nearly a year on the Pixel smartphone line - join Google. As part of the agreement, Google will also get a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property. The search giant will also be investing in Taiwan "as a key innovation and technology hub." This agreement is currently subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, and is expected to close by early 2018. Over the past year Google has steadily increased focused on its hardware business. The company's senior vice president - hardware said in a blog post that: It’s still early days for Google’s hardware business. We’re focused on building our core capabilities, while creating a portfolio of products that offers people a unique yet delightful experience only made possible by bringing together the best of Google software—like the Google Assistant—with thoughtfully designed hardware. HTC has been a longtime partner and has created some of the most beautiful, high-end devices on the market. We can't wait to welcome members of the HTC team to join us on this journey. Google had launched its flagship smartphones Pixel and Pixel XL, which were manufactured by HTC, in October last year. The Pixel devices have been designed end-to-end by Google, unlike the Nexus devices for which Google had outsourced the design part to manufactures. As such Google has complete control on what goes into building…
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