Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Sep 2017 10:59 UTC
Google

Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president of hardware, writes:

About a year and a half ago, I joined Google to pursue my dream job to create compelling hardware products, built with Google's smarts at their core. As a first step, we brought together various consumer hardware-related efforts and established a single hardware organization within the company. Our team's goal is to offer the best Google experience - across hardware, software and services - to people around the world. Last fall, we introduced our first family of Made by Google products, including Pixel smartphones, Google Home, Google Wifi, Daydream View and Chromecast Ultra, and we're preparing to unveil our second generation of products on October 4. We're excited about the 2017 lineup, but even more inspired by what's in store over the next five, 10, even 20 years. Creating beautiful products that people rely on every single day is a journey, and we are investing for the long run.

That's why we've signed an agreement with HTC, a leader in consumer electronics, that will fuel even more product innovation in the years ahead. With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization. These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we've already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we're excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.

This may elicit some flashbacks to Google buying Motorola, but said purchase was more about patents than it was about the company's hardware business - and even after selling Motorola, it turned out this was actually a pretty good deal. Google's sale of Motorola supposedly was part of a series of deals with Samsung, which included a patent-sharing agreement and Samsung promising to stick closer to stock Android.

It seems like Google is feeling more confident now, and is willing to risk agitating Samsung by investing in their own hardware capabilities.

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No need to fear Samsung
by moondevil on Thu 21st Sep 2017 16:52 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

Tizen is a joke, given the amount of bugs and how many times they have rebooted the SDK.

Next version will be with .NET Core + Xamarin.Forms.

If they ever leave Android, it would be at Samsung's own expenses, as I doubt they would ever get any meaningful support from app developers.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Thu 21st Sep 2017 17:33 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

I find it weird that employees were "sold" by HTC and "bought" by Google, when Google could have simply recruited them.

Anyway, Google got all the assets of HTC (aka HTC's engineers and a license to HTC's intellectual property) and HTC was left with all the liabilities (HTC's non-competitive factories, debt and ineffective management).

This is called asset stripping, and I do not know how I would feel if I was an investor.

Also, lord knows what HTC will do with the rights to the smartphone intellectual property, since they won't have any engineers to develop upon it for a good amount of time. Well, I guess leaving a non-asset asset behind is part of a good asset-stripping plan, to make any lawsuits harder.

Edited 2017-09-21 17:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by leech on Fri 22nd Sep 2017 04:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I kind of hate Google more and more each day. They're kind of like Microsoft in that they're looking for other things to dominate, and then they fail to do so, they just toss the people aside and move onto the next project.

I think the only reason that Android was successful at all was not because of them, but because they let the cat out of the bag so others could do something with it.

The part about making Samsung make their version closer to normal android is a bad thing in my eyes. A lot of the newer features in Android were because Samsung took some risks and implemented them first (though arguably some of their attempts were REALLY bad).

Tizen is another matter... Since it was Samsung latching onto what was left of MeeGo after Nokia dropped out... Though I don't know if it even got that far, it was based on... can't recall the name of it now, but it was worked on by Intel, merged with Maemo to make MeeGo, then split to be Tizen after Nokia's MS invasion...

If it weren't for that buggery, we'd probably have three main mobile operating systems like we have Linux / Mac / Windows on Desktop PCs, we could have had Android / iOS / MeeGo.

Kind of like back in the day we had Apple / Atari / Commodore...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr
by zima on Fri 22nd Sep 2017 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kurkosdr"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

If it weren't for that buggery, we'd probably have three main mobile operating systems like we have Linux / Mac / Windows on Desktop PCs, we could have had Android / iOS / MeeGo.

Kind of like back in the day we had Apple / Atari / Commodore...

If you count Linux on the desktop, which has around 1%, then you also have to count, on mobile, Windows Phone... ;)

(and regarding "back in the day we had Apple / Atari / Commodore" - I guess that was true mostly or only in the US... Apple was for a long time largely non-existing in most of the world; OTOH we also had ZX Spectrum ;) ...of course, after a while, the PC came and overwhelmed them all)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kurkosdr
by moondevil on Fri 22nd Sep 2017 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

It was also quite true in Western Europe, just it was Atari / Amiga / PC.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kurkosdr
by zima on Mon 25th Sep 2017 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kurkosdr"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Realistically, it was just the PC... :/ I've seen somewhere (possibly on Arstechnica in some article about Amiga) a graph plotting the percentages of various platforms ...Amiga hardly registered, compared to the onslaught of PC clones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 22nd Sep 2017 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kurkosdr"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Tizen was sold as the continuation of Meego, but its not. Not even close. Basically, Samsung just re-branded Bada. Intel engineers were pissed. Samsung took the Meego repo and just ripped out meego and replaced it with Bada without consulting intel engineers. Intel dropped out shortly there after.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by unclefester on Fri 22nd Sep 2017 09:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Google couldn't directly recruit them because they would have had non-dsoclosure and non-compete clauses in their contracts with HTC. The only way to get their knowledge was to buy the team from HTC.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 22nd Sep 2017 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kurkosdr"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That and it preserved their old hierarchy, workplace environment, equipment, etc. No disruption to the HTC pixel team that was already working close with Google. Heck, they were probably already working on Pixel 4 at this point, no need to abandon that work or the Pixel 3. just full speed ahead, no need to consult HTC headquarters anymore about any detail.

Quite a smart move, IMHO.

Reply Score: 4

v Tensions between Samsung and Google etc.
by Anon on Fri 22nd Sep 2017 08:30 UTC
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

I assume this is a troll. There are more than six Android devices sold for every iOS device. This margin is increasing every single quarter. The USA is now the only maket where Apple has anywhere near equal market share.

Don't give me any BS about Apple making 90% of the profits in the smartphone business. It simply isn't true. All the major Android phone makers use Transfer Pricing to minimise their profits. They pay full wholesale prices when they buy components (and even IP and software) from themselves. They don't have to build and staff expsnsive stores or build shrines (new Apple HQ) to themselves.

Reply Score: 5

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Edit. Android has close to 90% of new phone sales globally and almost 70% of new phone sales in the US. It is quite reasonable to assume that iOS will have single digit market share in a couple of years.

Reply Score: 4

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

All the major Android phone makers use Transfer Pricing to minimise their profits.

Why?...

Reply Score: 2

jasutton Member since:
2006-03-28

I believe what he's saying is that one subsidiary of the company "buys" stuff undiscounted from the another, which looks like lower profits (and hence, lower taxes).

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The big Japanese and Korean corporations consist of a central bank and whole lot of subidiaries that are run as seperate businesses.

If Samsung wants to build a phone they borrow money from Samsung Bank at commercial rates to set up a production line. They buy hardware from Samsung Hardware and software from Samsung Software at full market rates. The costs and profits are transferred between divisions. Rather than Samsung Phone making a 40% profit the earnings are split between multiple divisions and tax is reduced. That is how companies like Sony and HTC can sell phones at a "loss" year after year without going broke.

Apple is monolithic and vertically integrated from R&D to sales. So it much harder easier to track earnings. Apple reduces its taxes by shuffling money between countries to reduce tax.

Edited 2017-09-23 03:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

Sounds like Hollywood accounting

Reply Score: 4

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

HTC isn't that big though ;) (though it also seems to be non-monolithic - it's basically VIA / I will shred no tear for them because of their buggy chipsets ;) )

Reply Score: 2