WebOS not specifically mentioned

HTC considers mobile OS acquisition

Reports have emerged that HTC is considering the acquisition of a mobile operating system platform based on an interview with the smartphone giant’s boss Cher Wang.

Androidandme.com picked up on a translation of Wang’s interview with the Chinese-language Economic Observer paper in which Wang revealed the company had considered the acquisition of a smartphone OS.

The site speculated that HP’s WebOS was considered for such an acquisition in the same fashion as earlier (since debunked) Samsung rumours.

However in the original interview in the Economic Observer last week, WebOS was not mentioned specifically. Wang was first asked in an interview what the HTC chief thought Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility meant for the mobile brand.

Google was right to buy Motorola on the basis of patents alone, Wang said, and that the internet giant could afford to take the time to consider Motorola branding of Google phones.

Although Wang wasn’t pressed on HTC’s view of the potential threat of a combined Google and hardware company, something Microsoft has been keen to scare manufacturers with, Wang responded that HTC would pay close attention to how Google developed the Motorola business.

When pressed about whether the firm had considered the acquisition of an OS platform so HTC could compete with the likes of Google, Nokia and Apple, Wang said it was something that the company had considered and discussed internally.

A full translation of Wang’s response to the question is as follows:

"We have had this idea and engaged in internal discussions but we will not act impulsively [refuting the word used in the question]. We need to get to the bottom of technical requirements and examine the source."

"It’s important for a mobile phone company to make sense of this. In the smartphone category this is not an easy thing to do and requires a complete understanding of the operating system."

"Today HTC can use any operating system we want but no matter which we use we need to produce a product that stands out from the crowd."

"We have the ability to create second and third layers on the platform to differentiate ourselves from our competitors."

Wang didn’t rule out acquiring or creating their own operating system but suggested that the firm’s software customisation, such as the HTC Sense front end for Android, is the firm’s current strategy in standing out against smartphone rivals.

On the subject of tablets, Wang continued to express the firm’s cautious approach to the category. The firm would not launch a tablet merely to study Android and Apple, Wang said, but would seek a unique angle instead.

HTC defined ‘writing’ as the purpose of the firm’s first Android tablet, presumably the stylus-equipped HTC Flyer.

"When you see a HTC tablet, you will feel it has achieved a distinctive value."

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