Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has big ambitions in the smartphone hardware space, as is evidenced by its Pixel and Pixel 2 offerings.
Those phones represent Google’s first two homegrown, self-produced entries into the crowded world. Although Pixel hasn’t seen too much in terms of market penetration, the devices are widely beloved by users.
Now, as Fortune reports, the tech titan has added a new company to its aresenal that could revolutionize the way that smartphones play audio — without the need for traditional speakers:
The company, called Redux, has created a technology that can turn smartphone screens into speakers, according to Bloomberg, which earlier reported on the acquisition. The feature would eliminate the need for separate speakers but still let users play audio, potentially creating opportunities for Google to develop new smartphone design concepts.
Like other major technology companies, Google acquires small startups all the time. In some cases, those startups’ products are integrated into existing company products. In others, the company will acquire the startup for access to its talent or an underlying feature. Google, which hasn’t confirmed that it’s even acquired Redux, hasn’t said what it might have planned.
The move is reminiscent of several smallish acquisitions that Apple tends to make to bolster its iPhone lineup. Apple has acquired fingerprint sensor makers, voice assistant software specialists, and several others over the years. Google following in those footsteps is a smart move, because if it wants to truly capture a large piece of the smartphone market, it’ll need some key features to set its phones apart from the rest of the pack.
Alphabet Inc shares closed at $1,130.65 on Friday, up $18.60 (+1.67%). Year-to-date, GOOGL has gained 7.33%, versus a 4.14% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.