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Google, HTC sign $1.1B USD cooperation agreement to boost Google’s hardware game

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Comments are closed Google, HTC sign $1.1B USD cooperation agreement to boost Google’s hardware game Comments are closed

Google and HTC have entered into an agreement where certain HTC employees will join Google. As part of the transaction, HTC will receive $1.1B USD in cash from Google. Google will also receive non-exclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property. HTC says many of the employees worked with Google to develop the Pixel smartphones.

This is seemingly part of the search giant’s new hardware strategy, which is why it ended up acquiring part of another smartphone maker despite having previously acquired and then divested itself of Motorola’s mobile business.

Sources had reported that the reason share trading was halted on September 21 was because of a major pending announcement, and a VentureBeat report included an internal invitation for HTC staff to an all-hands meeting at which the news would be announced.

Media waiting outside during Thursday’s internal announcement at HTC headquarters in Xindian, New Taipei City

HTC has helped create a number of Google devices, and provided the manufacturing for the Pixel smartphone. It also built the last Nexus, the 6P, before Google took over design duties for its own smartphone hardware.

“HTC has been a longtime partner of Google and has created some of the most beautiful, premium devices on the market,” said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google, in a released statement. “We’re excited and can’t wait to welcome members of the HTC team who will be joining Google to fuel further innovation and future product development in consumer hardware.”

The Taiwanese company has focused increasingly on its emerging VR business, which includes the HTC Vive headset. It continues to make its own smartphones, too, and received some high critical praise for its U11 device this year.

The deal between Google and HTC will see the latter company retain its branding, but Google will take over some of its hardware engineering resources, which should help it own even more of its device-making process. Google had stepped back from in-house hardware after selling its Motorola unit to Lenovo, but recently re-engaged on that front with a different approach focused on premium smartphones, as well as accessories and smart home and connectivity devices like Google WiFi, and Google Home.

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Google brings the $399 Android One Moto X4 to Project Fi (and the U.S.)

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Comments are closed Google brings the $399 Android One Moto X4 to Project Fi (and the U.S.) Comments are closed

Google today announced that the Android One Moto X4 is now available for pre-order on its Project Fi page.

Like other Android One phones, the mid-range Moto X4, comes with a pure version of Android without any bloatware. This marks the first time an Android One phone is available on Project Fi, Google’s own virtual cell network, and it also marks the Moto X4’s arrival in the United States (previously it was only available in a select number of countries in Europe).

Given that it’s an Android One phone, the Android One version will, of course, not come with the Alexa integration that the X4 is shipping with in other countries. At $399, you’re obviously not getting the high-end specs of a flagship phone, but it still comes with two rear cameras (12MP and 8MP) for wide-angle and portraits and support for fast charging.

The Android One Moto X4 will come with Nougat, but Google promises an update to Oreo before the end of the year and support for Android P, when it’s released next year.

To sweeten the deal, Google will give you up to $165 to trade in select Nexus devices and, if you trade in before October 5, a $50 Project Fi credit.

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Wall Street dings Apple after some reported LTE connectivity issues on the new Watch

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There are a lot of reports hitting the ‘net this morning in reviews of the Apple Watch Series 3, which indicate that there are some LTE connectivity issues — causing Apple to take a small dip this morning and a speed bump in its march to $1 trillion.

Shares of Apple fell around 2.5% this morning, which for Apple is a pretty substantial ding for the company despite the deceptively small number. Apple is a company worth more than $800 billion, so such a small drop can erase tens of billions in value — the equivalent of a Snap, Twitter, or some other smaller market-cap company. Here’s the chart:

The new Apple Watch Series 3, the iPhone 8, and the iPhone 8 Plus will hit the markets soon. After that, we’ll see the kind of impact crater of those two critical new products that are supposed to set up a pretty big quarter for Apple. All eyes are more or less on the iPhone X, but the new watches and incremental iPhone updates still represent a critical part of Apple’s upcoming growth.

Apple told The Verge that the issues stemmed from “when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular.” The company also told The Verge that it is “investigating a fix for a future software release.”

Wall Street is looking for Apple to once again rev up its growth engine, which is primarily driven by the iPhone. The company unveiled the iPhone X, a big redesign of its iPhone lineup with a very hefty price tag. Apple’s hopes of becoming a $1 trillion company, which isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility, rest on its ability to build up a portfolio of niche products like the HomePod, AirPods and new Apple Watch products as well as a blockbuster iPhone release.

This quarter will be a big one for Apple, but the next one is going to be even more crucial. Coming out with a new product that hits a snag with connectivity issues, however, is not a good look as it tries to convince consumers and Wall Street that it’s about to re-ignite demand in a smartphone market that is starting to hit a saturation point — hence the dumping of a few billions of dollars in value.

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