HTC, the undisputed king of Android before Samsung came along and stole all the glory, could be looking to buy its own OS, in a move that could lead to it ditching its Google ties.
Speculation has heated up due to Cher Wang, the chairwoman of the Taiwanese company, telling reporters in the company’s homeland; “We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse,” when questioned on a possible OS buyout.
“We can use any OS we want,” she continued. “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 produce an OS.”
Wang is referring to HTC’s Sense UI here – an interface that could essentially be adapted across different platforms and one that already shares a number of social networking aspects with HP’s webOS – a system that it is looking to outsource the license following the high-profile dumping of it.
There’s no doubt that webOS is still an extremely attractive prospect for the smartphone market, no matter how badly its reputation has been damaged by HP’s poor handling of it.
And, with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop last week stating that the Google/Motorola deal would be “of great concern for many of the Android participants”, it makes Sense (pun definitely intended) for companies like HTC to begin exploring other options.
Rival Samsung is, of course, already able to fall back on a second (or third if you count Windows Phone too) OS with its internal OS, Bada, so it’s perfectly reasonable for HTC to want a similar option within its armoury.
Whether that is with webOS remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure – HTC isn’t the dominant Android force that it once was, and a webOS-flavoured shot in the arm could be just the tonic the hardware side of the business needs.