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Google Buys Part of HTC's Smartphone Team For $1.1 Billion (betanews.com) 92

BrianFagioli shares a report from BetaNews: Today, a deal finally happens, but Google didn't buy HTC outright. Strangely, as the deal is laid out, the search giant has seemingly bought HTC employees. Yes, for $1.1 billion, the search giant has sort of purchased human beings -- plus it gets access to some intellectual property. HTC gets a much-needed big influx of cash. "Google and HTC Corporation today announced a definitive agreement under which certain HTC employees -- many of whom are already working with Google to develop Pixel smartphones -- will join Google. HTC will receive $1.1 billion in cash from Google as part of the transaction. Separately, Google will receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property (IP). The agreement is a testament to the decade-long strategic relationship between HTC and Google around the development of premium smartphones," says HTC.
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Google Buys Part of HTC's Smartphone Team For $1.1 Billion

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  • Check the teeth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @12:08AM (#55236541) Journal

    What do you think, when Google bought the HTC employees, do you think they made them strip naked and then had an auction?

    Tech workers, you have no idea how precarious your world is. You may think you're on top of the whole capitalism game, but when push comes to shove, you're going to get the shit end of the feudalism stick like everyone else who works for a living.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by lucm ( 889690 )

      they probably bought diversity since the billions they poured in "girl code" bootcamps didn't deliver the right kind of females they need to fill their ratios (i.e. non-white, non-asian).

      It's becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to live up to their level of phony.

      • Sham diversity because they grew up in schools that taught all the same stuff!
      • Setting aside the random chip on your shoulder and just addressing your claim, how many non-Asians do you think a Taiwanese firm has? RoC tech visas are not so easy to get.

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          Did you see who those employees are? Follow the chain of links in the articles, there's a picture.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Get off your high horse man!

      This is not about master buying slaves

      This is about Google buying up the part of HTC which design first class smartphone and not getting other part of HTC which is a bureaucratic hell

      You guys who never work in HTC never know how bureaucratic HTC is

    • > Tech workers, you have no idea how precarious your world is. You may think you're on top of the whole capitalism game

      Well Google just paid a billion dollars for what? For HTC's cooperation as Google hired tech workers who were working at HTC. When a good company is willing to pay a billion dollars to try to get you on their payroll, yeah things are looking pretty good.

      When you say "feudalism ... everyone else who works for a living", it sounds like what you're eluding to is the manorial tradition in

      • Shares are still not the land. You, sir are a serf. My dad, uncle and brother own the land they live on, however.
        • No individual owns land, the government can take it whenever they see fit. You are leasing land from them, provided you pay your taxes and the govt has no pressing need for the land.

        • Shares are still not the land. You, sir are a serf. My dad, uncle and brother own the land they live on, however.

          Shares are a share of the metaphorical land. And, I own the land I live on, too. Well, the bank and I own it, but in a few years I will own it. What's your point?

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Your choice.

        Not really... regular people make $100k working, they spend $90k and put $10k into stocks. Rich people make $10M owning stock, spend $1M and put $9M into more stocks. You can play their game, but you can't win. Granted, there are always a few rags to riches stories but most of the lesser known rich people never "got" rich. They were born rich and unless they either go total playboy or speculate wildly their kids will be even richer. I was in the same class as the son of someone with a $200 million dollar ne

        • The real Return of the u.s. stock market over the last 65 years has been 8% per year. It has many 11 percent before inflation. As might be expected returns are higher you're in years of higher inflation show the real net game is less volatile than the nominal game. 80% is average we also want to plan for Hard Times bad times 4% is generally accepted as a safe value that if you draw down 4% you will never exhaust your principal or not within 30 or 40 years you won't drive down your principal. Normally retire

    • Tech workers, you have no idea how precarious your world is.

      Are there any tech (or any other) workers who don't know this? "Job security" stopped being a thing decades ago.

  • $300 per phone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 21, 2017 @12:13AM (#55236555)

    They've sold about 3+ million of those pixel phones I read, so we're looking at $300 per handset sold.

    IMHO, the issue with Google is they're playing catchup with their own Android OEMs and that has a lot to do with Pichai. I once watched him do a presentation on ChromeOS and he didn't have a vision, he was just sort of wishy washy on the direction, saying stuff like "well maybe extend this, and change that". Since then, Google has twiddled with technology adding features its OEMs already added.

    My current beef with him is that Android is still total crap on the tablets, the bad reviews of the Pixel C's software from 3 years ago, are still valid today, years later, and he's led Google to make a poor mans Windows laptop clone, merging Chrome OS and Android, as if anyone with an Android product wanted a whole layer of crap around the outside of Android and a trackpad and mouse interface.

    I see rumours of a 2 in 1, what's actually needed is an Android leader making a proper tablet. Fuck chromeOS, fuck the WIMP system on a tablet nonsense. Clueless.

    So they've bought the Pixel team of HTC, yet Samsung sell more refurbished exploding Note7's than they sell Pixel phones. In their heads they're a success, in reality, they clearly are passengers on Samsung's train.

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      My current beef with him is that Android is still total crap on the tablets

      I have the latest Samsung tab (10 inch) and it's a magnificent device. Snappy, polished, free of bloatware. Menus are friendly and convenient, the browser (not chrome) is fast and has a sensible adblock ecosystem, gps is great, cameras are great. Only thing I don't like is that it doesn't do wireless charging, which is one of those things that once you've tried it you don't want to go back to what you had before.

      So yes Android can work on tablets, just not on google ones. Stil I wish there was a more open s

      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        Wireless charging is pretty pointless. If it just worked anywhere in my house, great. If I have to put it on a specific pad, may as well plug it in. I would rather reduce the price and not have the hardware.

    • A current iteration of the Nexus 7 tablet would please me..

      • A current iteration of the Nexus 7 tablet would please me..

        I'm running the "Pure Nexus" Nougat 7.1.2 ROM on my Nexus 7 (2013) tablet. It runs beautifully, no lag. I have Google Assistant, all the goodies, without having to tinker or tweak. It just works like it should. Still one of the best tablets made.

  • Well, Google is in for some mass firings soon. There's going to be a huge culture clash between Google's far left SJW culture and Taiwan's meh don't care culture. If you think James Damore was bad (and he wasn't, the man was super reasonable, he was trying to help when Google's diversity classes told him they couldn't figure out why the company wasn't more diverse [youtu.be]) then all these new Taiwanese employees are going to be a nightmare. You think these Taiwanese are going to go to the gay pride parade? People
    • Seriously, what the actual fuck are you talking about?
      Have you ever worked with a Taiwanese company? I am guess not. I have worked with several over the year. And yes, even HTC. From both US (California) and Europe.
      They are extremely demanding and extremely "into the details".
      In fact, at one point our mother company brought in one guy to act as our COO from one of our Taiwan locations with the idea that the team in CA should adapt towards the Taiwanese working style. The end result was 30% of the employees

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You missed the context. They're "meh" about SJW bullshit but super into actual results and doing actual work.

        SJWs aren't. SJWs are all about promoting women and minorities over actual qualified people to hit some arbitrary quota. If you can't prove you're a special snowflake in an SJW-centric environment, you have no career. The SJW cancer is slowly strangling Google and American companies in general. It's why Silicon Valley is dying and Apple hasn't had a good idea in a decade.

        Google's SJWs aren't going to

        • by Anonymous Coward

          It's not about virtue signaling, and this imagined "SJW" extremist mentality is not, in fact, running the show. You are letting your imagination fill in tremendous gaps in evidence since you clearly have no direct experience working inside a company like Google.

          You do realize that Google engineering staff is still overwhelmingly dominated by white males and Asian males, right? Do you think we just stopped hiring highly qualified people to chase the diversity metrics in a vacuum? Here's a thought: it's possi

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        You completely missed the point, didn't you? And called other people racist instead of thinking outside your bubble, which is par for the course. This is the result of our universities producing too many word thinkers. Yes I've worked with Taiwanese companies. Taiwanese value work results first, while Google values hard left culture first. Thus they are headed for a big culture clash, and Google being the owner is going to win. I'd guess more than 30% will quit (or more likely be fired) by Google.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Seriously, what the actual fuck are you talking about?
        Have you ever worked with a Taiwanese company? I am guess not. I have worked with several over the year. And yes, even HTC. From both US (California) and Europe.
        They are extremely demanding and extremely "into the details".

        Wow. Way to completely miss the point of GP. He/she was talking about the political correctness culture, which is indeed nonexistent in Taiwan. This wouldn't even be a topic of conversation if Google didn't foist themselves firmly into the PC domain in recent years.

        you are just some ignorant fuck ball who never left their mom's basement and not a casually racist prick.

        I see nothing that would suggest any of that in the GP post. Do you think that, if you spew enough vitriol, it becomes true? I've seen this kind of righteous indignation play out numerous times on social media, and not once was the recipient even

      • ^^^ SJW

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      You think these Taiwanese are going to go to the gay pride parade?

      You think anyone in Taiwan including Google in Taiwan gives a crap about your Western US-centric SJW bullshit?

    • As one who has spent some time in Taiwan, I can tell you that the culture there is AWESOME. And yeah, totally don'tgiveashit about PC stuff, but not in a bad way. Women or minorities aren't being harassed; it's just not a topic of any interest.

      I loved it there, and am looking forward to going back. BTW, the food is superb.

    • Snowflake spotted.

    • Regardless of anyone's summation of cultures, has anyone ever been part of a large corporate acquisition that was a success? I mean, some do work to some degree, but in my experience, after about 6 months it's hard to find more than a handful of the "new intake" anywhere. If you're not buying a load of unmanageable legacy systems, antiquated production lines and a customer list of low-paying, high maintenance clients, then you don't get to keep much after the brains leave the building.

    • You think these Taiwanese are going to go to the gay pride parade?

      Some might. Some won’t. Just like anywhere else. But you seem to have missed the news from this year from Taiwan. They are leading at the forefront when it comes to gay rights in Asia being the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. Which runs counter to your implication that Taiwan is a country made up of MAGA alt-righters like Damore.

  • Seems to be such blatant look the other way when it comes to antitrust laws by our government and the media, particularly when it comes to Google. Looks like Google continues to make the right investments in politicians and the news media.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @01:37AM (#55236751) Homepage Journal
    It sounds like a legal way and face saving way for Google to prop up HTC. I can imagine the backlash is Google just gave HTC the billion. It wouls likely be unfortunate for Google if Samsung was the only major supplier of Android phones.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It will likely end up that way anyway. 1 billion doesn't go far in hardware manufacturing, at current rate apart from some of the chinese brands we will only have google and Samsung making android, it is the problem when the OS becomes a commodity that it is hard to differentiate and survive.
      • It seems that Google bought the HTC design/engineering team, at least some of it.

        Was any manufacturing capability part of the deal? If not, HTC might be the contract manufacturer for Goggle's phone-related business. Not a bad deal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 21, 2017 @06:22AM (#55237375)

    Selling Android phones that can be upgraded with patches has no future for a phone vendor. Nokia learned this when they lost the struggle trying to go from a market which was "Want a new feature buy a new phone" to a market of "Want a new feature, click update".

    Long term revenue from phone comes from owning the platform. That means monetizing from distribution of content or payment processing.

    Samsung is the exception as they produce almost (in not completely) all components of the phone and therefore have a much higher profit margin from the phone itself. In addition, sales of components to nearly all other phone makers covers most of their internal R&D costs.

    HTC is little more than a reseller trying to scrape what they can off of each sale which leaves them struggling in a market where they are forced to make phones with 2-3 year life spans of high quality while competing against pricing from companies who produce most of the components themselves. It's a clearly doomed business model.

    • And it looks like the high-end smartphone business is saturated. As a replacement market, the product life cycle has to be short enough for profits.

      The low-end phone market has massive growth opportunities, but these are low-cost items, and so efficiency has to permit a profit worth the effort. Math. The mid-range is fulfilling the Moore's Law promise of PCs - Average PCs are good enough for almost all users. Look at corporate IT, web based services mean you need a desktop PC that can run a browser, email

  • I don't really understand why Google bought Motorola to, then, sell it to Lenovo.

    But it appears that if there was a good reason, this same reason was remembered again.

    BTW, I think it was the only moment when Motorola did something really nice. Hope it happens again with HTC.

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