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After the Google deal: What will HTC do with the billion?

Google has now acquired some of HTC: something the rumor mill has long predicted. But some does not mean all. In fact, Google is only treating itself to employees in the smartphone team as well as patented licenses. But will it still be business as usual at HTC? Most likely not.

So is HTC a goner? Given the company’s less than stellar performance in recent years, this is the current speculation floating around online, but it actually doesn’t look as bad as it seems—at least according to press releases and official statements by HTC. And they’re already working diligently on its next flagship phone to bat. But one thing is clear: The smartphone department is going to take a serious hit—roughly 2,000 HTC employees will soon be Googlers.

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Google Pixel 2: HTC employees were also behind the development. / © DroidLife

Win for Google. Now what about HTC?

For Google, not only is the purchase a cost-effective, but also quite clever move: In one fell swoop, Google will absorb veteran HTC employees who already have experience with the Pixel. But HTC smartphones have proven to be consistently well made from a technical standpoint; they just couldn’t achieve the degree of market success needed, which is obvious looking at the continued losses HTC endured over the past quarters. Nevertheless, Google will not be taking over HTC’s factory operations nor assuming any obligation to publish smartphones under a different name.

HTC emphasizes however, that their smartphone business will continue. That may be credible for now since after all, there are still some employees left in the smartphone division. But the sale likely represents an exit strategy for HTC. The deal did not leave room for any hope of reform—something HTC urgently needs. Yes, HTCs are good technically speaking, but hardly anyone is paying attention, let alone buying them. No buyers—no income. No income—no future.

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HTC U11: One of the last of its kind? / © AndroidPIT

HTC should invest in some future-proofing

The amputation of HTC’s smartphone division means only one thing—-the income that is generated will be poured into promising company divisions. And they do indeed exist: HTC has a foot in the VR business with the Vive, and Viveport represents its own content platform. That said though, HTC is not entirely in the clear with Vive: Microsoft is now joining in, Facebook has currently stepped up its game with the Oculus and above all, the success of Vive is based on outside technology. Vive’s Lighthouse tracking technology comes from Valve, the people who run the Steam gaming platform.

Although Valve needs good VR headsets for SteamVR, it is by no means dependent on Vive. Over the past several months, Facebook has heavily invested in exclusive content, and Lone Echo, Mage’s Tale and Killing Floor: Incursion are some interesting titles that take VR gaming to a new level.

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HTC's Vive has a future.
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Vive and AI: HTC’s future industries

HTC’s Vive is also cooking up other VR goodies: Above all, Doom VFR is electrifying the industry so now is the right time for HTC to send a clear signal and invest in the VR division. That one billion from Google could come in handy.

Let’s not forget: The real win in the deal announcements is really based on collaboration in the VR field. After all, the Vive Focus will become a standalone Daydream headset.

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The Vive will make HTC happy as well. / © AndroidPIT

Another future industry that HTC mentions is artificial intelligence. Although the competition (Google, Apple and Amazon) is extremely fierce here, the market opportunities are nevertheless great, especially if HTC joins one or several different platforms and builds its own ideas and products on them.

Lowest price: HTC U11

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What do you think? Does HTC still have big chances in the smartphone industry? Or will the company face a different reality? Discuss in the comments below!

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  • 1.1 billion for 2,000 HTC employees seems excessive. They really should have kept Motorola instead!!


  • I don't see chanse to earn money with VR or AI.
    HtC is not a software company....never has been.
    hardly anyone is paying attention to all that things, let alone buying them. No buyers—no income. No income—no future.


  • HTC needs to shake up management first. Then carrier distribution and stop this one carrier baloney here in the US. Apple, Samsung, LG that's what you see in your local carrier stores. Marketing is nonexistent, advertising hey billboards are cheap. Try something, it's better than nothing. The 10 & 11 are very good phones but you must lose the title, the best phones that nobody is buying. How can you purchase if there not in the stores? I have always liked HTC phones I had the 10 never had a problem with it. Lastly if HTC doesn't make some changes that 1.1 billion ain't gonna be around long! Not many things get a second chance so do some damage with this money from Google!

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