TROUBLED PHONE manufacturer HTC is breathing a collective sigh of relief this morning following news that a major investment and cooperation agreement will see an injection of $1.1bn (£822m).
The deal will see HTC become Google's main provider of hardware, with some HTC personnel moving to join Google.
It stops short of the rumoured takeover - in fact, Google and HTC will remain separate companies.
They do however carry a long history. HTC manufactured the very first Android device, the HTC G1 (Dream) and before that, worked on early smartphone devices like the O2 XDA and Orange SPV, running Windows Mobile.
On October 4th, Google will be revealing its 2017 range of ‘Made By Google' hardware, and all the evidence points to the Pixel 2 smartphone being made by HTC.
In a blog post, Rich Osterloh, Google's SVP for Hardware said:
"It's still early days for Google's hardware business. We're focused on building our core capabilities while creating a portfolio of products that offers people a unique yet delightful experience only made possible by bringing together the best of Google software—like the Google Assistant—with thoughtfully designed hardware.
"HTC has been a longtime partner and has created some of the most beautiful, high-end devices on the market. We can't wait to welcome members of the HTC team to join us on this journey."
Also included in the tie-up is a non-exclusive deal for HTC's intellectual property. This will leave HTC to produce its own handsets concurrently, while Google can leverage the technology in its Made By Google range.
This also brings the HTC Vive, the company's VR offering closer to the Google stable. The Vive has proved to be significantly more popular than recent smartphone offerings from the company.
Rumours of a takeover have been rife for weeks, reaching a head on Tuesday, when HTC announced that shares would be suspended on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ahead of an announcement.
Google. meanwhile is expected to use its October 4th event to launch the HTC manufactured Pixel 2, a Pixel 2 XL made by LG, a mini version of the Google Home to rival the Amazon Echo Dot, and a "Pixelbook" running Chrome OS with Android app support.
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