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Apple, watch out: Google poaches chip savant, reportedly has sold 1 million Pixel phones

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Circle the wagons, Apple!

Oh, wait, you’re already spending $5 billion doing that on a very large lot in Cupertino.

But you better take a look to the rear, because Google’s ambitions against your smartphone market share are starting to bear fruit.

Although you’ve sold more than 1 billion iPhones since 2007, Google’s Pixel smartphone has been on the market eight months and has just apparently surpassed a million sales, according to an Ars Technica analysis of data on activations of the Pixel launch app.

To be sure, a million is far from a billion.

“The Pixel is seen as Google’s answer to the iPhone, but considering Apple sells 40 to 50 million iPhones in a quarterGoogle has some catching up to do,” according to Ars Technica, a tech website.

To help close the gap, Google has poached from Apple a prominent architect of mobile processor chips.

Google “is now looking to build its own chips for future versions of its flagship Pixel phone,” according to Variety, which cited unnamed sources said to be familiar with the matter.

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Google’s hire — Manu Gulati — had until May spent nearly eight years at Apple, according to his LinkedIn profile. Gulati was “instrumental to the company’s efforts to build custom chips for the iPad, the iPhone and Apple TV,” Variety reported.

“Hiring Gulati could now help Google to get an edge over other companies,” according to Variety.

“Losing him, on the other hand, is a significant blow for Apple.

“The Cupertino-based computer maker filed a total of 15 chip-related patents that credit Gulati as one of the inventors. Some of these filings describe fundamental chip architecture, while others are more specific to certain applications.”

Google plans to hire more chip experts in order “to tightly control future Pixel hardware,” according to Variety.

Photo: Rick Osterloh, Google senior vice president of hardware, introduces the new Google Pixel phone during a product event, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Tags: Apple, chips, Google, iPhone, Manu Gulati, phones, Pixel, processing

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