Google has a new deal with HTC and it is making a big bet on the smartphone. Rick Osterloh, Google’s Senior Vice President for Hardware puts this into perspective:

It’s still early days for Google’s hardware business. 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. HTC has been a longtime partner and has created some of the most beautiful, high-end devices on the market. We can’t wait to welcome members of the HTC team to join us on this journey.

According to Vlad Sovov in The Verge:

Google is becoming Apple faster than Apple can become Google.

What does Google gain in this relationship? IDC analyst Ramon Llamas notes:

Google can now control the hardware and software continuum that has made Apple so successful.

Taking a step back, what is the future of the smartphone?

The Inventor of Android On the Future of Smartphones and Beyond  (Time)

The iPhone X feels like “The Future of the Smartphone”  (The Verge)

Smartphone AI: The Trend That Will Make Future Phones Smarter  (Edgy Labs)

Samsung Expected to Introduce Foldable Smartphone Next Year  (wccftech)

Take Note: Samsung’s Conor Pierce on the future of smartphones  (silicon republic)

Finally, how much time do people spend on their cellphones in 2017?  The answer is here.

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