Google announced on Thursday a $1.1-billion deal with HTC, acquiring nearly half of the Taiwanese smartphone-maker’s 2,000 employees and licences to its intellectual property.
The move cements Google’s plans to marry the best of its Android operating system with “thoughtfully designed hardware”, according to a senior official.
As part of the agreement, Google will acquire a team of HTC employees who have previously worked with the Internet giant for its Pixel range of smartphones. The agreement excludes HTC’s Vive Virtual Reality (VR) portfolio.
“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,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior Vice President for hardware, said in a blog post.
Rick further hinted that Google will continue to amplify the smartphone business following the Pixel smartphones, which were launched last year as ‘made by Google’ phones.
“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,” he said.
Google and HTC had teamed up in the past for a number of devices, such as HTC Dream, Nexus One, Nexus 9 tablet, and the last year’s Pixel.
What does this mean for HTC?
HTC has been in the mobile phone business for more than a decade and enjoyed a cult following like Nokia and Motorola did once. The company, however, continued to lose market share to the likes of Samsung and several other new players across markets worldwide.
In May this year, HTC recorded its eighth straight quarterly loss in Q1 of 2017. HTC reported a net loss of $66.12 million.
Despite failing in the smartphone category, HTC still has a lot to look forward. Since the HTC brand will exist, the company can focus on building its Virtual Reality portfolio. Its HTC Vive is still considered one of the most premium VR devices in the world.
“This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses. We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services,” said Cher Wang, CEO of HTC.
What does this mean for Google?
It’s not the first time Google is making an attempt at the phone hardware business. The company had acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion in 2012 but sold it off to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in 2014.
Google is clearly planning to aggressively push its smartphone business, especially after the success of its Pixel series. Google can certainly leverage HTC’s talent pool to deliver superior Pixel smartphones in the future, or dive into other price categories.
Among the many signals that Donald Trump sent in his speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, one was especially clear: former chief strategist Steve Bannon’s White House departure has not muted the president’s “America First” foreign policy instincts.
Trump’s eight months in office have been characterized by a sometimes dramatic tug-of-war between “globalists” and “nationalist” advisers who have sought to move the president in myriad ways on issues both domestic and international.
Bannon’s exit last month caused some of the former New York businessman’s core supporters to fret that the more multilateral-leaning group inside the administration had gained ground.
Not on foreign policy, at least not on Tuesday.
Trump’s strident defence of national sovereignty during his debut at the annual UN General Assembly showed his campaign-honed policy inclinations very much intact and presented a Trump Doctrine to the world that focused unabashedly on the US homeland.
“The chief nationalist in this administration is Donald J Trump. And he knows what he’s trying to say,” said Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives and a Trump supporter.
He said the speech showed that Trump had a doctrine that was defined by more than tweets, with roots in the conservative philosophies of former US President Ronald Reagan, France’s Charles de Gaulle, and Britain’s Margaret Thatcher.
“It’s not a one-sided American nationalism, it’s a re-centering on sovereignty that’s really, really important,” Gingrich said.
The speech, in which Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if attacked, divided Trump’s supporters and opponents. Ben Rhodes, an adviser to former Democratic President Barack Obama, said Trump was upending international order with threats of war and attacks on diplomacy.
It did not divide Trump’s often warring advisers, however, an administration official said.
“It was the most collaborative speech among the senior people in the national security cabinet that the president has given to date,” the official said.
He said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stood up after Trump’s speech and shook chief speechwriter Stephen Miller’s hand and said “you did a great job.” Miller is considered a nationalist and an ally of Bannon, while Tillerson is more globally minded.
“This was more ... Trump just being Trump,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign adviser, adding he thought the nationalist versus globalist tension in the administration played itself out more on domestic policy issues such as immigration policy.
The administration has given mixed signals on foreign policy, too. Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser and a member of the so-called globalist wing, had to clarify with US allies this week that Trump still intended to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement unless there were a renegotiation to make it more favourable for US interests.
But Trump seemed to stun some people in the United Nations hall, despite his well-known penchant for blunt talk. His speech included a condemnation of the Iran nuclear agreement reached with US allies under Obama, and an observation that some portions of the world were “going to hell”.
Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator for Democratic and Republican administrations, said allies would interpret the speech as a sign that Trump was wary of undertaking major commitments around the world.
“Neither of the biggest problems, North Korea and Iran, can be solved by an America First, Lone Ranger policy,” he said, adding the speech showed that globalists within his administrations were “throwaways” and that Trump was still driven by nationalism.
The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has made public the names of directors whom it disqualified last week for associating with companies that have not filed their financial statements or annual returns for three financial years.
This is possibly the first of its kind naming and shaming exercise aimed at directors who have been barred from assuming directorships at other firms for five years as the government continues its crusade to eradicate the black economy.
The names include some that are similar to prominent politicians, from Arunachal Pradesh to Tamil Nadu, and businessmen, including non-resident Indians.
Mint couldn’t ascertain whether these directors were indeed popular public figures. (This story will be updated as and when we reach out to people). There is no way of confirming this from the details released.
On 12 September, the MCA issued a statement saying that it has identified 106,000 directors of companies that did not file their financial statements or annual returns for three straight years, violating provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. Prior to that, it struck off 200,000 firms that were suspected to be shell companies and directed banks to restrict operation of bank accounts of such companies by the directors of such companies or their authorized representatives.
Shell firms, though not defined under the Companies Act, are those that adhere to basic company laws and are used to avoid taxes and convert black money into white.
At least 17 registrars of companies (RoCs) of various states have released these names. In some cases, they have released the names of directors in companies that been struck off the RoC list as well. At least six RoCs, including those in Patna, Jaipur and Kolkata, are yet to release a list of such directors.
“The government in the past had introduced a mechanism to encourage companies to close down voluntarily if their financials did not check out. But the current exercise seems to be of a different magnitude and scale. Apparently, a lot of data analytics and data mining has gone into putting together such voluminous data. It seems like a fallout of demonetization—an integrative, consultative and inter-regulatory action to track black money and instill a culture of compliance,” said S.N. Ananthasubramanian, practising company secretary and past president, Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
New Delhi: Iqbal Kaskar, the brother of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested on Monday night by the crime branch of the Thane Police in connection with an investigation into an extortion case, the police said.
Iqbal was taken into custody from his house in Nagpada area in Central Mumbai by a team led by encounter specialist and the anti-extortion cell's senior police inspector Pradeep Sharma, an official said. "Iqbal was brought for questioning in connection with an extortion case. After investigation, he was found to be involved in the case and arrested," the official said.
According to sources, some extortion calls were made in Iqbal's name to a Thane-based businessman. The businessman then approached the Anti-Extortion Cell of Thane Police with a complaint. Acting on the complaint this evening, Sharma's team went to Nagpada and took Iqbal into custody. "Names of 2-3 politicians have come up during probe, some of them are of corporator & higher ranks," said Paramvir Singh, Thane Police Commissioner.
"Dawood gang used to operate extortion racket. Iqbal Kaskar carried it out with certain builders. Sharp shooters also involved," Singh added.
Interestingly, Haseena Parkar, a crime film based on Dawood Ibrahim's sister Haseena Parkar in which Shraddha Kapoor is playing the lead role is also getting released this Friday.
About Iqbal Kaskar: Iqbal Kaskar is the brother of Gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Earlier also Kaskar was arrested in an extortion case in February 2015 and granted bail. A real estate agent, Mohammed Salim Shaikh, filed a complaint alleging that Kaskar and his men assaulted him and demanded Rs 3 lakh.
Delhi is the capital of India and thus one of the most important cities of the nation. Many of the happenings and decisions that shape the course of the country are taken here and that is why the complete nation is always interested in knowing the Delhi news.