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HTC teammates begin working at Google Hardware

Google has announced closing its $1.1 billion deal with HTC, saying that building hardware is 'hard', while also announcing that Taipei will become Google's largest APAC engineering site.

Google has welcomed its new HTC hardware teammates to the company, four months after announcing it would pay $1.1 billion in cash to obtain certain HTC employees.

With the deal officially closed, a blog post by Google senior vice president of Hardware Rick Osterloh said Taipei will now become the search engine giant's largest engineering site in the Asia-Pacific region, with Taiwan "a key innovation and engineering hub for Google".

While noting that Google has launched its second-generation Made by Google products since announcing the HTC deal, including the Pixel 2 and Google Home Mini, Osterloh said that producing hardware is "hard".

"There's still a long journey ahead -- that's why I'm delighted that we've officially closed our deal with HTC, and are welcoming an incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come," Osterloh wrote.

"These new colleagues bring decades of experience achieving a series of 'firsts', particularly in the smartphone industry ... this is also the same team we've been working closely with on the development of the Pixel and Pixel 2."

Osterloh added that with Google's hardware business now in its third year, the company remains "committed to building and investing for the long run".

"Today, we start digging in with our new teammates, guided by the mission to create radically helpful experiences for people around the world, by combining the best of Google's AI, software, and hardware," he said.

HTC and Google had announced the deal back in September, at the same time saying Google would receive a non-exclusive licence for HTC's intellectual property to support its Pixel smartphone line.

Many of the HTC staff members had already been working with Google to develop the Pixel line, the companies explained.

"The agreement is a testament to the decade-long strategic relationship between HTC and Google around the development of premium smartphones," the joint statement said at the time.

Google earlier on Tuesday also announced that it would be partnering with enterprise mobility management company MobileIron to create a white-label cloud services marketplace.

"Working with MobileIron, our goal is to help businesses more easily and quickly create an integrated marketplace where their authorized customers and partners can access apps and streamline billing, application entitlement and authentication, plus use Google Cloud Platform for back-end compute and storage services," Google wrote in a Keyword blog post.

The cloud services marketplace platform features will include customised service bundles, customised branding, unified billing, secure cloud access, and usage analytics.

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