> 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.
Common methods to quote text blocks on HN are to use a > prefix and/or asterisks to italicize the quoted text.
Edit: Thanks for updating!
I'm thinking of this sort of thing, as found in the good ol' days on Usenet:
> > Sorry - I used '>' first
> You should have trusted your first instincts.
> > but instinctively changed it to a block
> So you tried the right thing and changed it to the wrong thing? What's wrong with you?
> > since HN didn't actually format it any differently.
> You didn't request any formatting and you're surprised HN didn't give you what you didn't ask for?
... and so on. (For the avoidance of doubt, the snarky tone of the above does not reflect my actual opinions. It's just what tends to happen in the comment-on-fragments kind of interaction, which is one reason why discouraging it here might be wise.)
Indeed HN has miserable quoting constructs. I prefer the italics with ">", but dedicated support would be nice.
Google doesn't give a damn if Samsung can come in and use the same IP and have similar features on their phones. Remember, Google just wants to improve the Android experience as a whole. If they use the HTC IP in a cool way, it's good for Google if Samsung does the same thing.
I do not understand how so many still don't get why I brought up this exclusive vs non-exclusive deal. The best deal one can get is exclusive rights. The unknown here is we don't know whether Google's agreement includes (NDA) any exclusive IP.
The Motorola acquisition was both desire to exercise the IP and as a mean to defend patent wars. But people thought they were all about making new phones (which can always make more money and more ad money). In the end engineers got transferred to other teams within Google.
Of course they want to move into consumer hardware for the exact reason you listed: sell more ads. They got certain group of engineers so they can work on projects Google either haven't revealed or improving existing hardware projects, most of the code will remain proprietary. You don't see most of the Google Home code in open source Android codebase, except whatever Google believes are valuable for the community.
There is no altruism here. Otherwise there would not be any patents and any licenses except "no license" license. I suggest those downvoted me please think about why software companies want to move into consumer products in the end. Why is FB building hardware? Why Kindle in the first place? Why Google Home or Amazon Echo? Read up various highly regarded analysts' reviews on new sites. Those people do better analysis than I do here.
You wrote that Google does not have the "whole IP". You are saying that there is something that Google doesn't have access to?
If Google has non-exclusive rights to all of HTC's IP, then they do have the whole IP. They just aren't the only company with the whole IP.
- HTC's stock price has been going down for the past 5 years, and EPS was down sharply recently. Does this make HTC more or less viable on its own going forward?
- Apple finally made a VR push with the upcoming macOS High Sierra and iMac Pro—along with the HTC Vive. Google didn't fully acquire HTC here, and HTC's trajectory was already tied to Android, but still seems an interesting wrinkle there.
- Samsung continues to hedge their bets, most recently with Bixby. Really wonder if Google's continued hardware investment will make them seek more of their own path.
- Why would Google acquire just a team from HTC? Seems like the oddest of acquihires yet.
IIRC, The license agreement between HTC and APPLE will be voided if HTC is acquired by another company, maybe this strategy can avoid this situation.
>The terms of the settlement are confidential
Anything you know that we don't? Usually licenses stay valid after a company is acquired.
> In the event of a Change of Control of a party, this Agreement shall automatically terminate unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Parties, effective immediately prior to such Change of Control.
Of course depending on how it's written it is possible there could be some room for interpretation, which would likely end up being litigated, but I suspect these huge companies have teams of lawyers that are pretty careful about that kind of thing.
As a negotiating tactic, if they really want and need to retroactively rewrite the contract they can say 'This is going to happen. You can agree, or we can spend money to destroy you legally and/or otherwise'. It depends on how badly they need to change the thing, but the amount of abstracted power they've got should they choose to wield it is enormous. At that point it becomes a game of personalities: does the CEO want to go to the mat on this one? Will the board go along? Bear in mind that shows of strength and ruthlessness will help the stock price, because those evaluating Apple for what it's worth are only interested in ruthlessness and power.
I think it's very silly to consider that laws mean anything anymore. In practice, only money matters. (in fact I don't approve of this, but that's my evaluation of how things stand, and how we got here)
Apple under Jobs showed polished deliverables to customers. Without him, Apple demoed prototypes more, talked about plans and fields they worked on more and tried to pumped up confidence by giving out information more. It's been like this for a few years. Not a short time in the tech world.
They did regroup and formed a new foundation that is quite strong. Positioning at product and service for privacy alone has no competitors in the near future. And they have everything needed to make customers believe in them (on the other hand, do customers really have other quality and trustworthy alternatives?).
The best product after Jobs from Apple, to me, is AirPods. That's the only product makes me amazed and satisfied.
I'm actually a big fan of Apple's approach on making product and an iOS developer myself.
One time payment instead of continuous revenue from future projects. The difference is that the one time is money in the bank, whereas future project work is merely a possibility that might fail to realize. In the end it is a question of the right price and I get the impression that this one has been very generous (even after discounting for the IP.
Or if they think EVERYTHING is doomed and they’re just hoping to get anything that might help save them.
Meanwhile, HTC Executives pocket a huge wad of cash? Great.
If you're getting less than 1%, you'll get a better ROI working for the bigCo of your choosing. Suggesting otherwise is disingenuous.
All: we recently updated https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html, so now would be a good time for a refresher.
In my opinion that kind of person is in serious need of a moment of clarity. And refusing to acknowledge that there are people in the world that see things differently is quite uncivil IMO.
When I was younger, I took several craptastic startup offers because of the allure of working for a startup. Not one of them panned out. But I also turned down offers from Autodesk and Nvidia at a time when accepting would have made me worth 50 to 100 million dollars today. Feeling loyal to those craptastic startups and also feeling somewhat that I had no other options were part of why I made those bad calls. Don't be former me.
I thought my point was that startups are usually a bad risk for less than 1% of the equity pie when compared to the other major option of working for an established tech company with a stable income and work/life balance.
Are you saying some people have no other choice in life except to take a craptastic gig at a horrible startup for 0.1% or less of the equity?
And by disagreeing, I am somehow some sort of sociopath?
But that's considered crazy talk in our industry.
At the very least, they should negotiate directly with Google to sweeten their deal, preferably with at least one counteroffer for their talent. On the other hand, if Google is making a better offer than all other comers, then they should just take it. If you don't at least attempt to negotiate, I can almost guarantee you're leaving something on the table.
Google buys HTC's Pixel team, license to HTC's IP, and a RF lab (Subsidiary of HTC) for 1.1 billion USD.
It is impossible something like this be good to both, losing 100 people that have worked on the best project that the company has worked in the last years.
Or overpaid for just some people that are not soo great, as they thought.
HTC still has the Vive team.
The company is named 世界通全球驗證股份有限公司 (communication global certification inc), website.
What is a RF Lab?
From the blog post, seems to be a license.
In the press release of HTC
> Google will continue to have access to HTC’s IP to support the Pixel smartphone family
Is it means HTC only licenses IP to Google, not sells them to Google?
Why no mention of Motorola in 2011? Google bought it for $12.5B, and sold it 2014 for $3B.
I think it would have made the blog post better to give some explanation for why Things Are Different This Time.
Tax Credits: $1B
Sale of Motorola Home: $2.4B
Sale of Motorola Mobility: $2.9B
So Google ended up paying about $3.2B for Motorola's patent portfolio, which was valued at $5.5B.
There's a limited supply, and only some of them are ever for sale.
He doesn't run google.
You can look at the HTC deal as the learnings from the Moto deal: Buy only what you need, spend no time, money, or attention on things you will need to get rid of.
Google dropped the hardware businesses and kept the patents. The patent market was notably frothy at the time, and conventional wisdom then valued Motorola's patent chest at $4.0-4.5 billion (Apple + MS consortium bought the comparable Nortel trove for a price in that ballpark). If that value is correct, then Google made a profit on buying and selling Motorola (patents + Moto Home + Moto Mobile).
Their adoption helps increase the market share of the OS so makes creating content for them (apps in the Play store, and so forth) more attractive again indirectly helping because all Android devices potentially benefit from that.
So not a profit in any easily measured $ terms, but definitely a benefit.
Made sense to me, at least.
To say Google not interested in hardware when they purchased Motorola is plain baseless.
> We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.
They missed out on the Nortel patent portfolio earlier that year I think.
So that may be where this confusion arises.
I don't think that's true, see Project Ara 
As others have mentioned, Motorola was 90% about the patents because they were fighting trench warfare with Apple AND Microsoft at the time. And 10% about having some say over a premium phone that wasn't full of garbage overlays. They were at war with Samsung over Touchwiz and Tizen at the time. So ya... it was 100% a strategic move, and exactly why the bailed as soon as humanly possible.
When they bought Motorola it was for patents, they absorbed the patents but kept the remainder of the business separate from Google. Eventually breaking it apart and selling it off.
This announcement doesn't sound like they are acquiring then entirety of HTC but rather a team within HTC. And that the team is joining Google, not remaining a separate entity.
So things are different because they're acquiring a part of HTC and folding it into their organization for the explicit purpose of furthering their hardware pursuits. Not just buying up the whole company for it's patents and selling off the remainder.
Investors already know how the moto deal turned out (or are willing to look into it themselves to check the numbers). The media needs soundbites.
In this case though I think the HTC division will operate within Google as opposed to a separate entity like Motorola remained.
> HTC will continue to have best-in-class engineering talent, which is currently working on the next flagship phone, following the successful launch of the HTC U11 earlier this year. HTC will also continue to build the virtual reality ecosystem to grow its VIVE business, while investing in other next-generation technologies, including the Internet of Things, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
HTC will continue to develop HTC's next flagship phone.
Google will continue to use the HTC Pixel team they just brought to develop Google's next Pixel flagship phone.
This is especially apparent this year. Just to name a few things:
- Apple is much later to the AR game than Google, yet can push AR to ~200 million devices at the push of a button. Google has had Tango for a while now, and can only push it to a very small number of phones (compared to Apple's)
- A11 bionic chip is so far ahead, it's not even funny anymore, and is married to all other parts of the hardware and software. Google has nothing that's even close to this.
- "Kinect-in-a-phone" sensor strip of iPhone X. Even if Google has the know-how, it can never provide the same features, because they don't have their own hardware.
"Owning the stack: The legal war to control the smartphone platform" by Arstechnica remains as relevant as ever, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/09/owning-the-stack...
For example, let's suppose Android One takes off and all the cheaper-tier OEMs let Google handle the OS updates, and let's suppose that lights a fire under Samsung and other upper-tier OEMs to provide more-timely updates for longer. Does Google still need to make 3% of the hardware market share?
Nope, it doesn't. Because it means it has no means to control OS distribution, updates, and hardware improvements. Google is now entirely dependent on OEMs to deliver Google's software.
Let's say, Google comes up with a great new idea. A true competitor to Apple's AR (well, Google had it a year and half ago), Face ID, camera tech etc. Right now it may take anywhere from a year to five years to get this into the hands of consumers.
The only way to get anything coherent out of the Android ecosystem is to either impose extremely tight controls on major OEMs (Samsung will definitely not agree to that), or become an OEM.
Absorbing significant market share from OEM partners isn't going to happen on the basis of a another couple of Pixel phones. It may come from rationalizing the platforms and porting requirements for Android.
The've been working on it for several years now. The result? Nothing is really happening.
Let's take AR as an example. Google had Tango ~1.5 years before Apple announced their AR. Tango had rationalisation and platform requirements for Android devices.
- Tango was moving nowhere. There were ~0 devices supporting it.
- Apple announces AR. It will be immediately available on ~200 million devices within a few months of iOS 11's release
- Google scrambles to remove some of the requirements from Tango and launch it ... for the two top devices on the market only. Running Nougat and up. That is, ~14% of ~10% of the Android market.
And the same goes for any other initiative that Google may have in the Android space.
Edit: specifically, I don't see anything that indicates they won't distribute it more widely. Sorry for being unclear.
From some local rumor (maybe from HTC's Taiwan employee, but not confirmed yet), Google won't acquire all team member, they want RD mostly, not the management people.
And google will have a internal interview for those RD to decide who can stay, then sign a two year work contract with them. so that's some different compare to other google employee.
Rick Osterloh will come to Taiwan for detailing the next step to them.
Do you know what's happening to them?
The mail only says he will go to HTC's Taoyuan and Taipei office today. and almost all announcements specified the "Pixel team".
Maybe the team is located at the two office only.
Unfortunately that ultimately matters little to stock value and market share.
However, they bought an RF lab from HTC, so it's probably a mobile product, not the VR product.
For what it's worth, I figure they have lots of competition in terms of Samsung, Oculus, and Microsoft.
Well, more like I hoped it would be the goal. I'd love good AR, which I see as being similar enough to VR. I also want it tied to some sort of big data along with ease of discoverability.
I'd like to be riding down the road, see a bridge, be able to identify the bridge, be able to see when it was constructed, be able to see the plans and capacity limits, see who did the construction, see if there were accidents during construction, and things like that. I'd like the same for buildings, airplanes, cars, etc...
So, Google married with VR would be a potential start to something I'd really like to see. Alas, I was wrong. I'm a bit disappointed, but not really surprised.
Personally, I would prefer Google stay out of it.
What they really need is their own smartphone hardware team.
another nexus 7
god, i hope so.
[EDITED to add:] Hmm, no, the last of those doesn't work. Maybe "god, I hope there is".
But I would love to see an updated nexus 7!
Am I missing something? I guess it can be rather subjective, but I don't have any complaints about UX or UI.
I should add that I've been told I'm too forgiving of bad design, so this is a legitimate question. I really don't see anything wrong with the UX from any of their products that are in common use.
I did have occasion to use one of their search appliances and the UX wasn't bad, but the results were pretty terrible. Terrible results might qualify as bad UX, I guess?
>Am I missing something? I guess it can be rather subjective, but I don't have any complaints about UX or UI.
For me search is about everything Google got right. I use
Google Cloud and I can tell you, everything is buried somewhere and change without notification. Even something simple as billing, I have to search Google to find it. Same with G Suite. Something as simple as the admin interface is impossible to find. I never got G+ and don't see why they haven't killed it. People put up with gmail because there is nothing better. Try to change your profile picture. Android apps look terrible compared to ios and I have apps notifications I never knew existed and can't even tell where they're located. So many I can't list here.
> Am I missing something? I guess it can be rather subjective, but I don't have any complaints about UX or UI.
At least for me, Google+ has long been a miserable experience. Facebook, with its faults and quirks, is still better in intuitiveness and UX (again, for me).
Another area is GSuite - it's been painful and confusing to understand and enable features for a personal account. The documentation is grossly inadequate (I did provide feedback) and doesn't explain what regional or other rollout differences that exist in the suite.
I've worked with a lot of seniors with home computer help, and Google software is practically a non-starter.
As I said in my post, I may just be unable to see it. To me, it seems pretty straight forward. I can't think of a Google product where I had a bad user experience or found the user interface to be bad.
From YouTube to G+, I've not had any complaints about UX. certainly none worse than other services. They seem much like any other modern software. I'm absolutely not a savant, I can't even use GIMP or Blender.
Maybe it's just me?
That might be it, actually. I first touched a computer in the early 1970s. I'm not worried about breaking things, so I'll click buttons and see what they do.
I'm not sure that Google is worse than any other offender, though. Again, it is probably subjective.
If I had one complaint, it would be that I'm partially colorblind and this makes it difficult to differentiate certain things. Google isn't the worst offender but I guess that's a complaint that I have. I'm not sure if that is UI or UX?
I do wish they had a high-contrast option. I could probably make something but I just work around it.
Either way, thanks. This has been very informative.
My wife is happy enough with it. Sometimes, I hear her complaining about Gmail, that she can't add attachments. But otherwise, it seems to work for her.
We're both seniors, by the way :)
They've had several iterations of email client for Android, from the AOSP client to Gmail to Inbox. I don't want a learning curve, just a mail client. (K-9 or Outlook for Android, cheers)
They've also had numerous goes at creating a sms/xmpp/talk/video app. Google Talk/Allo/Duo/Hangouts, it's all a confusing mess.
I have a lot of people literally ask me to repeat a process several times so they can write each step in doing things like attaching a file or forwarding an email down on paper. So when a button gets renamed or moved or even just has an icon instead of text, it throws people.
She does have that habit about writing each step, though. It frustrates me when I'm showing her how to do stuff. But it's not a new thing for her.
I'd go so far as to say chromebooks are ideal for seniors, because there is very little they can screw up.
And what was chosen instead that had a significantly easier uptake for "seniors" ?