“HTC Corp., the beleaguered manufacturer that once ranked among the world’s top smartphone makers, is returning to its roots to piece together Google’s latest phones with no trace of its own brand,” Selina Wang and Mark Gurman report for Bloomberg. “The Taiwanese company is the designated assembler for Google’s new handsets — the Pixel and larger Pixel XL — unveiled on Tuesday.”

“The deal likely means the end of the six-year-old Nexus program, a co-branding effort that outsourced the majority of hardware development to other smartphone makers, including HTC,” Wang and Gurman report. “The deal with the Alphabet Inc. unit is a strategy rewind of sorts for HTC. Founded in 1997, HTC began as a contract manufacturer. In 2002, it won a contract with Microsoft Corp. to make Windows-based phones and quickly became one of the top producers globally. It also made the first Android phone in 2008.”

Google iPhone wannabes Pixel and Pixel XL

Google iPhone wannabes Pixel and Pixel XL

“The shifting relationship with Google, based in Mountain View, California, comes after a brutal period for HTC. HTC’s smartphone market share dwindled to 1.3 percent in 2015 from 9.2 percent in 2011,” Wang and Gurman report. “‘HTC is excited to work with Google to create the new Pixel smartphones,’ HTC spokesman Jeff Gordon wrote in an e-mailed statement. ‘Google and HTC have a long and storied history together.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, Google and HTC have a long and storied history of blatantly stealing Apple’s intellectual property and knocking off Apple’s industrial design.

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

And, here’s what cellphones looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

cellphones before and after Apple iPhone

People who buy Android phones and tablets reward thieves.

Google announces Google-branded iPhone knockoffs, again – October 4, 2016
Why Google really, truly, deeply hates Apple – May 30, 2014
Prior to Steve Jobs unveiling of Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android didn’t support touchscreen input – April 14, 2014
Before iPhone, Google’s plan was a Java button phone, Android docs reveal – April 14, 2014
How Google reacted when Steve Jobs revealed the revolutionary iPhone – December 19, 2013
Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us – September 2, 2011