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HTC: We've Thought About Buying WebOS

Jacob Chung |
September 12, 2011 | 5:43 p.m. PDT

Senior Tech Editor

HTC says buying an operating system like WebOS has been considered (credit John.Karakatsanis/flickr)
HTC says buying an operating system like WebOS has been considered (credit John.Karakatsanis/flickr)
HTC confirmed Monday it's considering the purchase of WebOS or another mobile operating system.

Cher Wang, chairwoman of HTC--a Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer--said the company has discussed the possibility of buying a operating system to compete with other smartphone makers. 

From Focus Taiwan

"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 as reported by Focus Taiwan. 

Buying an operating system like WebOS from Hewlett-Packard would offer HTC two immediate benefits: the patents attached with the operating system and the ability to create a user experience from start to finish--the former of which may also protect HTC from patent wars with other handset manufacturers. 

Despite internal discussions, however, Wang maintains continuing to build off of other operating systems is still on the table. 

From ComputerWorld:

Wang implied in her interview with the Observer that whatever operating system HTC deploys won't prevent the company from still offering unique products. Her comments could be interpreted as meaning that acquiring a new OS is not that high of a priority, some analysts noted.

"We can use any OS we want," she said. "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."

Other analysts, like Roger Cheng of CNET, say purchasing WebOS would likely do more harm than good for HTC citing, among other things, that building a new ecosystem and gaining developer support may be difficult at this point of the game. 


It may be appealing to own both the hardware and software components, crafting a unique HTC experience without influence from outside parties. But given the scarcity of options out there and the long-standing dilemma of attracting developers to an unproven platform, it isn't worth the trouble.


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