HTC’s Chairwoman says her company might purchase an operating system for its smartphones and tablets. The name at the top of the list is almost certainly webOS, which HP is shopping around.
Cher Wang was asked during an interview if her company is interested in acquiring its own operating system. She responded, “We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse.”
HTC makes devices running Google’s Android OS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Several developments might be causing it to consider going another route, though.
Nokia announced earlier this year that it’s going to use Windows Phone on all its high-end smartphones, and to secure this deal Microsoft is allowing this company greater authority to modify the look and feel of the operating system than it has any of the other licensees, such as HTC. Such modifications allow companies to differentiate their products, and HTC sees that as key to the success of a smartphone.
Last month, Google announced plans to acquire Motorola Mobility, one of the top makers of Android-based smartphones and tablets. This raises the possibility that other licensees of this OS, including HTC, will get shorted.
In addition, HP recently decided to stop making devices based on the webOS, which it had acquired from Palm, Inc. It’s now trying to find something to do with it, and has reportedly been talking to other companies about a licensing deal, or possibly even a sale.
HTC’s Wang made it clear that no deal has been made yet. “Our strength lies in understanding an OS, but it does not mean that we have to produce an OS.”
Samsung has also been mentioned as a possible buyer for the webOS. However, its?CEO has categorically denied these reports.