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HTC's Chairwoman has stated that her firm is considering buying a proprietary operating system. Many think HP's defunct webOS could be an appealing target.  (Source: HP)
Could Taiwanese phone super-star finally give webOS the TLC its fans hoped for?

Google, Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system may be the industry gold standard, currently accounting for approximately 50 percent of global smart phone sales, but faced with intellectual property issues and market homogenization, many top Android phonemakers are reportedly considering creating or adopting proprietary operating systems.

The latest rumor, reported by the Economic Observer of China, claims that Taiwan's HTC Corp. (SEO:066570) is considering buying an operating system for use in its best-selling smart phones.

The publications quotes HTC chairwoman Cher Wang as stating, "We have given [purchasing a proprietary OS] thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse. We can use any OS we want. We are able to make things different from our rivals on the second or third layer of a platform. Our strength lies in understanding an OS, but it does not mean that we have to."

In other words HTC is content to currently use its Sense User Interface (UI) to differentiate itself on its target platforms, but it might want an operating system of its own.  While this is hardly a firm commitment, it's enough to spark much excitement in the mobile community as it leaves the door open that HTC might buy Hewlett-Packard Company's (HPQ) webOS.

WebOS was a promising operating system which had arguably some distinct advantages over its more successful competitors.  However, HP essentially ran it into the ground, failing to deliver compelling products and then bailing on its first webOS tablet after less than seven weeks on the market.

Rival South Korean phonemaker Samsung Electronics Comp, Ltd. (SEO 005930) was rumored to be considering purchasing webOS, but the company's CEO resoundingly denied these rumors.  Motorola Mobile, Inc. was rumored to be considering purchasing a third party operating system as well, before it was scooped up by Google.

Speaking of Motorola, HTC showed none of the fear of favoritism that Nokia Oyj.'s (HEL:NOK1V) CEO was sounding the alarm on.  HTC said that Google made the "correct" decision in buying Motorola, given that the acquisition bought Google intellectual property which it could use to defend its partners.  Google has said this was a key reason for the acquisition.

Ms. Wang stated that she expects Google to be very careful when considering how to sell Motorola branded devices, such as not to harm its third party hardware partners.


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Why?
By quiksilvr on 9/12/2011 3:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
What's the point? Does webOS have some obscure patents that will be good bargaining chips at the lawsuit table?




RE: Why?
By RamarC on 9/12/2011 3:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
everybody has patents, and i'm sure webos will help add something to htc's patent library.

but uniqueness and feature control are probably 2 big benefits. htc will likely be able to make everything from teenie texting phones all the way up to android/iphone-competing superphones using webos as the basis and they won't have to pay anyone a royalty/license fee.

they'll be able to add unique touches that aren't available elsewhere and get closer to the closed ecosystem (total software and hardware control) that apple enjoys.


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/12/2011 4:12:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the closed ecosystem (total software and hardware control) that apple enjoys
Correction: "that Apple and RIM enjoy"


RE: Why?
By borismkv on 9/12/2011 5:28:26 PM , Rating: 5
I don't know if RIM is "Enjoying" it quite as much as Apple.


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/12/2011 6:29:18 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, with just 67% international revenue growth last quarter how can RIM possibly enjoy anything, right? ;-)


RE: Why?
By messele on 9/13/2011 3:04:30 AM , Rating: 2
They can have as much growth in turnover as they like, if the profits are dropping and they do not turn that around the company will sink.

As my chief always used to tell me; "Turnover for vanity, profit for sanity".


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/13/2011 6:29:47 AM , Rating: 2
Why would their profits fall when the market grows, their revenue grows too and BB prices stay as high as ever?


RE: Why?
By messele on 9/13/2011 7:24:30 AM , Rating: 2
Why indeed. That is the golden question and if you know the golden answer get in touch with RIM as they could use somebody to steer their ship through rough waters right now.

Fact is however, whether it be through rising cost of manufacturing, retailers squeezing their margins, exchange rate fluctuations or any other reason, RIM are not making the profits they should and they were once capable of.


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/13/2011 8:49:09 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah good point, I didn't pay attention to their profits. They are falling indeed, however with the recent release of the long in the making BB7 handsets profits should raise again.


RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 9/12/2011 3:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
"Does webOS have some obscure patents that will be good bargaining chips at the lawsuit table? "

I am sure they do on the UI. Having by far the best UI/Multitasking in the industry, I would imagine its all patented. I hope someone buys it.


RE: Why?
By ICBM on 9/12/2011 5:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
If they did, I would have thought QNX would have come under heavy fire. The interface is very very similar.


RE: Why?
By robinthakur on 9/13/2011 6:16:42 AM , Rating: 2
Probably because nobody really wants to kill RIM, they are just going to let them die on their own :)


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/13/2011 6:40:43 AM , Rating: 1
Says who? Some Apple lover who never had any experience with new BB7 handsents and only used some old BB6/BB5 models? Riiiiight... that's what I thought.

Try to stop talking about ancient BBs, robinthakur, maybe then your opinion on RIM will be worth more than zero.


RE: Why?
By TakinYourPoints on 9/12/2011 4:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's the point? Does webOS have some obscure patents that will be good bargaining chips at the lawsuit table?


Maybe. More importantly, they have a really good operating system, better than Android IMHO


RE: Why?
By AlvinCool on 9/12/2011 4:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
HTC would be buying WebOS and all Palm's patents and other intellectual property, which could be extensive. I agree, for just buying WebOS what would be the point?


RE: Why?
By Aloonatic on 9/12/2011 5:39:23 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe they are pi$$ed at Google and have finally had enough of seeing Android phone and tablet manufacturers being left hung out to dry by Google while Apple's patentzilla is stomping though the smartphone market cityscape.


RE: Why?
By michec on 9/13/2011 4:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously didn't read about Google transferring some patents to HTC about a week or two ago which HTC is using to sue Apple.


RE: Why?
By Aloonatic on 9/14/2011 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, Google are using their partners as pawns too, when it suits them too.

You've obviously not considered... That Google do not have to transfer patents over if they don't feel like it?

Google have hardly leapt to the defence of many of their partners who are being denied the ability to sell products in certain markets, which is costly, and they are having to pay, no doubt, high legal fees to just go to court so that they can do business. Perhaps it's OK for a company with the money that Google has to operate like that, but other companies may not really have the finances to keep on operating this way for sustained periods, and perhaps investors aren't so keen to invest in companies that are in this position.

Maybe Google see HTC as a useful tool to attack Apple with at the moment, but being reliant on Google giving them ammunition when it's in their interests is hardly a great way for HTC to go about running their business... Obviously.... :-/


RE: Why?
By Tony Swash on 9/12/11, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/12/2011 6:38:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
whilst making no money for Google
This is my favorite fact about Android - while it grows its market share its competitors also grow their revenue and income, and feel quite healthy and pumped up. Basically both RIM and Apple don't care about Android grabbing a large chunk of market, they both keep growing and making gobs of money. Why bother about Android if you can make big money with your vertically integrate approach even though your market share may be much less? Totally makes sense for me.


RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 9/12/2011 7:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
You know, no-one takes either of you 2 seriously right?

This is an effect of both of you ignoring any postitive points about a competing product/company , and ignore any negative points about the product/company you fanboy for...


RE: Why?
By TakinYourPoints on 9/12/2011 8:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that they're right in this case. Microsoft of all companies makes more money off of Android than Google does, and they make more off Android than they do their own WP7 handsets. This is due to licensing fees that they chose to collect, while Apple and Oracle are instead choosing to litigate and shut it down. In all cases so far the courts have come on the side of Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle when it comes to IP theft and breaking of patents.

In any case, Google has left their hardware partners hung out to dry and wide open to accusations of IP theft and breaking patents. If HTC is pissed, they have every right to be.

It makes complete sense why HTC wants to buy WebOS, it offers them actual protection in court and control over the complete hardware/software stack.


RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 9/12/2011 11:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
Right... but not.

Read the article again. Its about HTC possibly buying WebOS

While it is correct Google isn't making a ton of money for each Android license, its not the same business model as Apple and MS.

Google runs an entirely different business model and they made an extremely affordable mobile OS to help bolster the rest of their business. They are not in the same arena as MS and Apple...


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/13/2011 6:48:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Read the article again. Its about HTC possibly buying WebOS
In other words, it's about HTC becoming more like RIM and Apple, less like Google and MS. Another point against your anti-RIM trolling.


RE: Why?
By robinthakur on 9/13/2011 6:27:45 AM , Rating: 2
You should do, in this case they speak the truth. Obviously Google does make money off of Android through Ad revenue, but whether this offsets the R&D and ongoing costs is another matter. Motorola mobility's acquisition was interpreted by the financial markets as being a very defensive play by Google, and the reason for this is Apple, MS and Oracle, defending their IP's against people incorporating their technology into a competing product. This has happened far too many times in the industry. Anyone remember what happened when the, at the time, dominant 3DFX squared upto Nvidia?
Android's continuing fortunes will be interesting to watch; they really do need to keep the handset manufacturers on side by defending their interests far more than they historically have. It would be much easier say for HTC to just stop proucing it's Android phones and switch to WP7 ones at the moment. It would get Apple off of their ass for one thing.


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/13/2011 6:37:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You know, no-one takes either of you 2 seriously right?
Oh, look who's talking, Mr. Double Standards has arrived! :)) Come on man, post some more of your favorite "Apple market cap means nothing, RIM market cap means everything" double standard lunacy, hehehe :))) This is gonna be fun!


RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 9/13/2011 9:03:18 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I dont know what crack you are smoking, nor am I going to get caught up in your twisting of words. Apple is immensely profitable and like them or not, they make products that alot of people want, and buy. The iPhone changed the industry... Mac , not so much, but at least they are there as a viable option, I mean they do all the stuff a PC does and some people like them. As for Rim, they are not so lucky. You cannot put RIM in the same boat as Apple. Apple is steaming ahead like they are on a mission. RIM is fluttering and has been for years.

Yes yes, I know, you are going to say "but, OS7, OS7, OS7" - No-one cares about OS7, because it doesn't offer anything that isnt already out there for 2-3 years on other platforms (IOS, Android). The ONLY reason to buy a Blackberry phone is if you work at a company that uses the aged, outdated, exspensive and un-needed BB enterprise server for mobile mail. If your company doesnt have that, and you bought a Blackberry, you just might be a doofus. - end of story


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/13/2011 11:14:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
they make products that alot of people want, and buy
Same can be said about RIM.
quote:
The iPhone changed the industry
Same can be said about BlackBerry.
quote:
Apple is steaming ahead like they are on a mission. RIM is fluttering and has been for years.
RDF is strong with this one. Apple's PR machine did an excellent job with you.
quote:
it doesn't offer anything that isnt already out there for 2-3 years on other platforms
No one cares about Android and iOS, because they don't offer anything substantial that isn't already out there for 2-3 years on BlackBerry. If fart apps are your strongest advantage - be my guest man!
quote:
you bought a Blackberry, you just might be a doofus
Yeah, sure, everyone who buys products Mr. Retrospooty is not endorsing is a doofus. Riiiight... troll on, retro, troll on :) This is fun!


RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 9/13/2011 1:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... You truly are priceless Pirks. =)


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/13/2011 1:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
You're out of steam much faster this time ;)


RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 9/13/2011 2:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
There isnt a whole lot more to say... We have differing opinions. I think RIM's time in the sun is over and they are on the downslide toward the end, and you think wrong... LOL ;) The only real truth will be seen in time. 2 years from now we will know the answer.

One thing you cannot deny is that the market and public perception is that RIM is headed down. They can of course turn it around, but I don't see it happening, unless they come out with something better than they have now. It has to be good enough to make IOS and Android users want to switch, because the opposite is currently true.


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/13/2011 2:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It has to be good enough to make IOS and Android users want to switch
Since smartphone market is growing and more and more people switch from dumbphones to smartphones, RIM can survive and prosper on the market growth alone, especially outside the US where iPhone and Android are weaker and BB is stronger, sometimes even monopolistic. So there's no urgent need to lure other smartphone users to the platform. It will be the case in the saturated non-growing market but it's not coming any time soon.

The only thing needed to change perception in the US is more fart apps, and QNX plus native C++ SDK are the solution for that.


RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 9/13/2011 7:12:02 PM , Rating: 3
RIM is a fart app


RE: Why?
By Pirks on 9/14/2011 4:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
Your brain is a fart.


RE: Why?
By sigmatau on 9/12/2011 9:26:48 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, all of you missed the boat. They are looking to buy an OS as Google refuses to defend HTC against lawsuits. Imagine if a company sued HTC over one of their Windows phones. Microsoft would step in and defend them.

Google has stayed on the sidelines too long for the manufacturers's comfort. Not only that, but Google just bought one of HTC's big competitors. If you were HTC, wouldn't you be wondering about your future?


RE: Why?
By TakinYourPoints on 9/12/2011 10:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Imagine if a company sued HTC over one of their Windows phones. Microsoft would step in and defend them.


Exactly.

First Google hung their hardware partners out to dry, then they bought Motorola. I'm sure HTC is livid


RE: Why?
By robinthakur on 9/13/2011 6:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
True story. The same is true with Samsung, although they did go out of their way to customise android (and redesign their own hardware post iPad2) to look more like iOS to the untrained eye. Samsung also have their own OS (see the Wave) which they might choose to expand on now they have greater brand recognition in the phones market. If they were fully committed to Android, then why are they still releasing Waves using their own OS? HTC and Samsung must be pretty annoyed at Google for not even lifting a finger to defend them against Apple's stringent defense of it's IP.


RE: Why?
By michec on 9/13/2011 4:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-07/htc-sues-...

Google transferred/sold some patents to HTC recently which HTC is using to sue Apple.


"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer














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