Does HTC need to buy an OS? Probably not

Does HTC need to buy an OS? Probably not

Summary: I don't think that HTC needs to 'buy' an OS, after all, what would it buy?


Interesting piece over on Focus Taiwan which reports on quotes made by HTC chairwoman Cher Wang in relation to HTC buying its own operating system.

Here's the quote that's got the blogosphere all fired up:

"We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse," Wang said in an interview with the Economic Observer of China.

I'm not even sure that the quote even suggests that HTC is serious about this, since thought and internal discussions are far removed from action. And that bit about not acting on impulse also suggests that this is not something in HTC's immediate future.

The next quote makes it clear where HTC is headed:

"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," Wang said. "Our strength lies in understanding an OS, but it does not mean that we have to produce an OS."

The 'second or third layer' Wang mentions here refers to the HTC Sense UI that HTC ships on devices to make them easier to use than the standard Android UI. Wang understand that HTC doesn't need to buy and OS to do a good job of putting an OS on a device.

I don't think that HTC needs to 'buy' an OS. First of all, what would it buy" The failed webOS that Palm and HP couldn't really do anything with, or the failed Meego? Secondly, there are only three mobile OSes that are worth bothering with nowadays - iOS, Android and Windows Phone - and two of those OSes - Android and Windows Phone - are open to HTC. The idea of buying an OS and then trying to turn that into a viable ecosystem just doesn't make sense.

Is there any reason why HTC might have been thinking about buying an OS? Well, HP made some big noises about webOS, right up until the wheels fell off so that might have had something to do with it. Then Microsoft's cosy relationship with Nokia might have made the company a little nervous that it was being handed its hat with regards to Windows Phone.

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Topics: Operating Systems, HTC, Software

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  • Yes, they should buy WebOS

    They can then do what they do best and make great phones.<br><br>They can get out of the Windows Mobile Debacle and the Android Uncertainty.<br><br>If they were to have WebOS and the patents that go along with it, they would be in a great position to defend against MS, Apple, Oracle, etc. Profits would probably go up as they wouldn't have to pay the Android Tax to MS, license Windows Phone, or defend against as many lawsuits.
    • RE: Does HTC need to buy an OS? Probably not


      Windows Mobile Debacle? HTC's WPs are some of the best around. Why would they give that up?

      WebOS is dead. You're beating a dead horse.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Does HTC need to buy an OS? Probably not

        @Cylon Centurion pot meet kettle, both WP7 and WebOS have devoted users that say their OS is the best, both don't sell well at all
  • RE: Does HTC need to buy an OS? Probably not

    It is widely thought that owning the entire system is an advantage for Apple. It would be one for HTC, too. I do believe that webOS is a viable platform for HTC, and would give Android a big run for the money.
    • I agree

      Let's just hope that, if they do buy it, they don't bork it like HP did. From what I have seen of WebOS, it would be excellent if the right people got behind it and put in the right amount of time/money/engineering expertise.

      It's a good foundation to build some good phones and tablets from.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Does HTC need to buy an OS? Probably not

      @JamesKendrick HTC would need to spend some serious money to build a webOS eco system. I doubt their interest level is that high. I also don't believe other companies can just duplicate Apple's system for their benefit. It works for Apple, but other companies should find their own methods. HTC builds great hardware, but I don't like their sense UI and it was their software (and verizon's) that made Windows Mobile nearly unusable. After buying a third party UI, Windows Mobile was great.
    • RE: Does HTC need to buy an OS? Probably not

      That is only partly true. The point is HTC is not Apple. It doesn't have the same leverage with the ecosystem that Apple has.
      Apple is in a unique position and has the talented to manage the entire stack. HTC doesn't have that, it isn't in their DNA. It wasn't in HPs DNA to operate the full stack, and so they failed with WebOS.
      We could get a better picture if you do not think in ideal terms about what will happen when HTC owns the OS
      • HP's gene pool has been corrupted

        @regsrini by all the CEO changes and incompetent leadership. I wonder what exactly is in their DNA anymore!
  • Bad idea. No one wants to be locked into an ecosystem any more than they

    already are. WindowsPhone and Android are large ecosystems with app markets etc. but it's still hard to move between them or iphone. For htc or samsung to come out and offer further lock down to bada or webos is really limiting. I want an ecosystem where I can change handset oem and change carriers without cutting off my app purchases. Bada and webos dont give me that.
    Johnny Vegas
  • What about the patents....

    One word; Patents. Buying the OS probably includes the patents that come with it.