Google’s acquisition of HTC’s design team is now complete

Google announced its Dh4.04 billion acquisition of HTC’s smartphone design division late last year. That deal has finally closed as announced by Google’s Hardware VP Rick Osterloh in a blog post.

Google’s new R&D team

Google’s major shift into bringing hardware in-house for the first time will have more than 2,000 HTC engineers under its banner. Taipei will be Google’s biggest engineering hub in the Asia-Pacific region as the newly acquired HTC team will stay in Taiwan. Google’s acquisition doesn’t include HTC’s VR division or contract manufacturing operations. The 2,000 engineers made up the bulk of HTC’s smartphone R&D team.

Primarily a software company, Google has been experimenting with designing its own smartphones under the Nexus label and now the Pixel label with manufacturers such as HTC and LG. Both phone series produced some of the best Android phones out there. It was high time Google stepped completely into the hardware side of things and acquiring fledgling HTC’s smartphone design division made perfect sense. Google worked with a subset of its new HTC hires on a contract basis for the Pixel and Pixel 2.

Google’s hardware future

Google is a small and new player in terms of smartphone making. Nexus and Pixel phones have been experiments at best and never hit the mainstream market. Google began a shift with the launch of the Pixel 2. It followed massive ad campaigns globally and targeted a very specific market, the same users Apple targets for its iPhone. It’s no secret what Google is trying to do now with the Pixel line and its own R&D division. The Pixel 3 will no doubt be an exciting device to look forward to.