Report: HTC Considers Buying webOS or Other Mobile OS
September 12, 2011 2:45 PM
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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.
Could Taiwanese phone super-star finally give webOS the TLC its fans hoped for?
Google, Inc.'s (
) 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,
Economic Observer of China
, claims that Taiwan's HTC Corp. (
) 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 (
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. (
) 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 (
) 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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9/13/2011 6:27:45 AM
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.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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