Technology |Emerging

Emerging: Google backs HTC smartphone unit with $1.1 billion investment

Talk (4)

Jack Barton

Jack Barton

"Ok, will flag that with the tech team..."

Steven Towns

"The graphic in this article hasn't ha..."
Jack Barton

Jack Barton

"No you're right - that's both AP and ..."
Pete Young

Pete Young

"Style question: In "Google has announ..."

Google has announced a $1.1 billion investment in smartphone development through a deal to buy part of HTC, showing it is still determined to develop handsets as well as its Android software.

The U.S. online giant will obtain the part of the Taiwanese group that already develops Google’s Pixel smartphone, taking on 2,000 of HTC’s employees though no manufacturing assets.

The deal demonstrates Google’s commitment to carving out a space in the smartphone hardware market, despite previous setbacks and the dominance of Samsung and Apple.

In the first quarter of 2017, Samsung had 23.3 percent of the world’s market share, while Apple had 14.7 percent.

IDC: Smartphone Vendor Market Share Chart

In early 2016, Google hired HTC’s Rick Osterloh to spearhead its hardware development drive.

In a blog post published today, Osterloh said that Google will obtain some of HTC’s intellectual property as part of the deal.

Both companies have committed to further collaboration in the future.

Key Context

  • Alphabet, Google’s publicly listed parent company, released the Pixel smartphone a year ago. It currently accounts for less than 1 percent of the smartphone market as hardware despite the global domination of Google’s free Android mobile software.
  • In 2012, Google invested $12.5 billion in Motorola. The deal gave it patents and other assets but the takeover didn’t gel into a hardware powerhouse and remaining elements of Motorola were sold to Lenovo for less than $3 billion two years later.
  • Samsung and Apple control the largest portions of the global smartphone market. According to industry tracker IDC, Samsung sold 111 million units in 2016 compared to Apple’s 210 million, though the South Korean conglomerate pulled ahead in terms of market share earlier this year.
  • On 12 September, Apple unveiled its latest model, the iPhone X.
  • On 4 October, Alphabet is expected to launch two new Pixel models and a new Chromebook.

Started by

United Kingdom
Jack Barton is a staff journalist at WikiTribune where he writes about international law, human rights and finance, whilst covering daily news. He was previously a senior reporter at Law Business Research and has experience covering law and international development, with credits in the Sunday Times, the New Indian Express, and New Statesman online among others. He has an LLM in Human Rights and worked on a UN-funded research project, looking at peace processes.

History for stories "Emerging: Google backs HTC smartphone unit with $1.1 billion investment"

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05 April 2018

12 January 2018

13 December 2017

Talk for Story "Emerging: Google backs HTC smartphone unit with $1.1 billion investment"

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  1. Other

    The graphic in this article hasn’t had the appropriate code around it to make it mobile responsive. This has resulted in the body of the text running off the side of my screen.

    1. Rewrite

      Ok, will flag that with the tech team – thanks

  2. Rewrite

    Style question: In “Google has announced a US$1.1 billion investment in smartphone,” do we really need to say “US$”? I recognize that we’re writing for an international audience, but if we’re following AP style and common sense, it wouldn’t be Liberian dollars, right? The context makes it clear.

    I’d suggest that the dollar sign ($) by default means U.S. currency; if it’s something else, we say so, such as 12 million Canadian dollars. (As always, feel free to tell me I’m full of crap.)

    1. Rewrite

      No you’re right – that’s both AP and Wikipedia style, which are the two we’re referring to. It was force of habit on my part accidentally using the style guide I used to adhere to. Cheers

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