HTC interested in acquiring mobile OS

Smartphone maker HTC could be shopping around for a mobile operating system. In a report on the Focus Taiwan web site, HTC's chairwoman Cher Wang reportedly told a Chinese media outlet, "We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse." Wang added, "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 produce an OS." Wang refers to HTC Sense, a user interface that has been installed in a number of the company's Android-based phones. The UI is supposed to be used as an alternate compared to the standard Android user interface.

HTC is already selling lots of Android based phones and it also sells products based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system. But if it is thinking about gaining access to its own operating system, there might be a couple that are available to purchase. The biggest one is webOS which is currently owned by HP. The company decided last month to no longer sell webOS-based hardware products after the sales failure of its TouchPad tablet product. HP has said it will continue to develop the operating system but has hinted it might sell off the webOS.

Another mobile OS that HTC could buy is MeeGo, which is being used in Nokia's one-off smartphone the N9. So far no other smartphone is scheduled to use the Linux-based open source operating system.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft is streaming BUILD keynotes, 9 am PDT

Next Story

DigiNotar fallout: Adobe to release patches

25 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I'd have no problems buying a HTC phone with webOS or Meego running some form of sense... or even just vanilla ui.

It'd make a nice change and hopefully bring a bit more competition to the marketplace.

Lazy Garfield said,
Yes. Because that's what we need. MORE fragmentation of the market.

I wouldn't mind to see Android being replaced by it. There, problem solved.

smooth3006 said,

how would htc buying webos make it fragmented?


It could add a 4th legitimate mobile OS. Instead of 33% 33% 33% 1%, it could be 25% 25% 25% 25%.

Aren't they the only ones even using Brew? I could be mistaken though seeing as I take no effort keeping keeping up with Brew.

They could take up Meego's development for minimal cost if they wanted.

I think they should acquire MeeGo, yes WebOS is nice but HTC is already really good with UIs. I think they'd be better off with MeeGo since HP had so much trouble making WebOS worth the hassle.

Sionic Ion said,
I think they should acquire MeeGo, yes WebOS is nice but HTC is already really good with UIs. I think they'd be better off with MeeGo since HP had so much trouble making WebOS worth the hassle.

Meego is dead dude. Intel is even abandoning it.

Sionic Ion said,
[...] since HP had so much trouble making WebOS worth the hassle.

WebOS wasn't the problem, HP's hardware design is. HP engineers admitted WebOS' performance was great running on an iPad 2 compared to their own Touchpad. HP dropped the ball here leading me to believe they didn't really tried. They prematurely pushed half-assed hardware onto the market hoping people would fall for it.

.Neo said,

WebOS wasn't the problem, HP's hardware design is. HP engineers admitted WebOS' performance was great running on an iPad 2 compared to their own Touchpad. HP dropped the ball here leading me to believe they didn't really tried. They prematurely pushed half-assed hardware onto the market hoping people would fall for it.

+1. It was very odd and lacked any real commitment from HP.

Melfster said,

Meego is dead dude. Intel is even abandoning it.

WebOS is dead at this point too...either way, HTC can aqquire one of them and continue development.

Two things made this happen, for Samsung and HTC: Motoogle and Microsoft tax.

8ut I'd rather that they renew their focus on WP, because Microsoft treats their OEMs very well, as can be seen on the PC side.

Doubt it...HTC is fed up with Microsoft and vice versa, Microsoft is now in a special partnership with Nokia and they won't risk it for HTC.

Sionic Ion said,
Doubt it...HTC is fed up with Microsoft and vice versa, Microsoft is now in a special partnership with Nokia and they won't risk it for HTC.

Really?? And where has it been stated that EITHER "partner" is tired of the other? Since HTC just announced yet more WP7 phones and all... Sounds like an attempt to troll to me.

And honestly, what FMH said is true. Microsoft supports and treats their partners very well. It has a lot to do with their success. I see no other OS manufacturer offering full (or even partial for that matter) patent protection. This is a HUGE benefit to releasing Windows Phones... And a benefit they would not have if they developed an OS internally. The only difference legally between Android and an inhouse OS is that they would be able to guarantee no code was directly stolen as is the case with Android.

Well other OEMs should be pleased because this special deal put WP back in the game.
IDC, Ovum, Gartner and several others gave Microsoft a second number in market share, for the near future, just because of this deal.

Why did Microsoft gave them this "special" treatment? Because Nokia wouldn't have complied otherwise, since they had the biggest gun in the market, by volume.

Other OEMs just lept at it, Nokia needed to be showed cash to make it attractive for them. But it would work them all in the end.


And +1 to M_Lyons10!

Edited by FMH, Sep 12 2011, 7:14pm :

M_Lyons10 said,

Really?? And where has it been stated that EITHER "partner" is tired of the other? Since HTC just announced yet more WP7 phones and all... Sounds like an attempt to troll to me.

HTC originally wanted to have Sense UI all over WP7 and they couldn't do that...and that was a big bonus for HTC Windows Phones...so they went Android with their Sense UI and now there big in the Android market. How can HTC not be ****ed that Microsoft did that to them? And how can Microsoft be pleased that HTC makes several Android phones that competes against WP7? ...

I'm not a troll...I have a Samsung Focus, planning on getting Focus S next.

Sionic Ion said,

I'm not a troll...I have a Samsung Focus, planning on getting Focus S next.


I agree, the Samsung Focus S seems the most interesting device among the ones announced, at least so far.
The 4.7 screen of the HTC sounds a little bit too big; I have a HD7 and a device of the same size with a much more readable screen is very appealing.

I wonder if Samsung will mantain the ability to replace the SD card though; replacing the one in the HD7 was really a cumbersome task.

Sionic Ion said,

HTC originally wanted to have Sense UI all over WP7 and they couldn't do that...and that was a big bonus for HTC Windows Phones...so they went Android with their Sense UI and now there big in the Android market. How can HTC not be ****ed that Microsoft did that to them? And how can Microsoft be pleased that HTC makes several Android phones that competes against WP7? ...

I'm not a troll...I have a Samsung Focus, planning on getting Focus S next.

Hi Sonic Ion, not sure about the Sense UI being a bonus for WP, since Microsoft's aesthetics in this phone are highly regarded.

Did you saw the alarm dock feature, HTC has got for their new Mango phones. It has Sense/Metro combo, and it doesn't look so good to me, as compared to what Microsoft may have. http://wmpoweruser.com/a-look-at-htcs-new-dock-interface/ What do you think?

Microsoft is small for now, because, they are too different, and lack features.

The 'too different' would be cured with Microsoft expanding this UI, across all their products. And then a lot of people would be familiar with it, and want something similar on their phones.
The features are being taken care of with Mango, which is launching in a couple of days.

Edited by FMH, Sep 13 2011, 9:48am :

So everyone want their own OS now, but can the market support it? ecosystem, standards, and leverage...if not skepticism, I can't wait until 2014-2015 when the dusts settled.

MS can and have money to throw in like a hot headed way they have always done. Google bought a useless company for patents that might not make a different after the law suits settled not in their favor. OEMs looking to have their own OSes. If anyone, I though HTC should have bough palm last year instead of clueless HP(genuine surprise). Samsung will likely to build up android clone bada into a real OS.

The next couple of years will be SUX for the consumers. Can we skip 2012 and 2013?

Edited by flexkeyboard, Sep 12 2011, 6:24pm :

Navan said,
Well, if HTC does buy webOS, I'm sure they can do no wrong.

It's a cool OS, and if there's anyone that could breath life into it, it's HTC.
Releasing device after device, in all shapes and sizes.
Plus, their design aesthetics are appreciated by many, too.