Apple is down 1.31% at $US153.95 a share after the $US1.1 billion deal was announced. Google is trading up 0.17% to $US949.27.
The partnership between Google and HTC will have several HTC employees join Google’s growing hardware division. The deal also included non-exclusive rights to some of HTC’s intellectual property.
Art Cashin, UBS Director of Floor Operations at the New York Stock Exchange, reacted to the news by saying it could be the beginning of Google’s answer to the iPhone.
“Traders speculate that Google’s move… may represent a potential threat to the iPhone,” Cashin said in his market commentary sent out on Thursday morning. “Thinking is that Google may challenge the iPhone with a phone that has a hyper-efficient digital assistant that may run rings around Siri.”
Google began producing its own phones last year when it launched the Pixel phones. HTC was a primary partner for the phones and is helping Google make one of the second generation Pixel models set to be released on October 4th.
“It’s still early days for Google’s hardware business,” Rick Osterloh, senior vice president for hardware at Google wrote in a blog post. “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,”
Shares of Apple are up 32.74% this year while Google is trading higher by 17.57%.