HTC giving consideration to buying its own OS
Motorola has Android, Nokia has Windows Phone 7, and even Samsung has Bada. There’s a slew of other smartphone manufacturers out there, but none in so potentially as vulnerable of a position as HTC. They have neither favored OEM status (Motorola and Nokia) nor an OS of their own to fall back on should things go south with their software partners (Samsung). HTC has long been looking for ways to differentiate their products, with their Sense overlay for Android and Windows Mobile (but not Windows Phone) and their recent purchase of a controlling stake in Beats Audio. But what about the core of the software – the OS?
Word has it that HTC is indeed shopping for a mobile operating system of their own, but they’re being very deliberate about it. HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang admitted as much to China’s Economic Observer paper, saying “We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse.” She also mentioned HTC’s ability to differentiate their products with software layers like Sense.
So what of this potential mobile OS purchase? Could it be something like HP’s webOS, or Intel’s Meego? Samsung’s already publicly taken a pass on webOS, and HTC has seemed cool to the idea as well. But even with its struggles, webOS already has better marketshare and consumer awareness than Meego (the other struggling mobile OS without vendor support), plus could be easily adapted to fit HTC’s Sense stylings (though that’s not necessarily something we here at PreCentral would willingly embrace).
HTC has a lot of software experience from grafting Sense onto successive versions of Android and Windows Mobile, as well as building an impressive Sense app/hub for Windows Phone. But do they have the chops and patience to work an entire operating system? There’s really only one way to find out.