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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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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.... :-/


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