Bloomberg reports that HTC is looking into developing their own mobile operating system. According to HTC CFO, Cheng Hui-ming:

“We continue to assess, but that requires a few conditions to justify"

An HTC device that combines their typically excellent hardware with HTC developed software seems like the logical endgame for HTC. Heck, they've already put their own Sense UI on top of many Android phones and have even tinkered Sense to fit Windows Mobile. On those devices, the HTC Sense experience shines as much as the original operating system. Building a true smartphone operating system (we're not counting that dumbphone) could be taken as another step in a direction they were already heading.

However, given HTC's strong relationship with both Google and Microsoft and the increasingly competitive smartphone market, this is far from a sure thing. HTC has proven itself successful with its current business model and the company has become the talk of the town. Unless they're really unhappy with the state of Android and Windows Mobile, we just can't see it happening. Or they can just buy Palm. Or not, apparently, as Reuters says today that the deal is off.

And though it's an exciting proposition if HTC does decide to go head-on in software, we don't want them to ever leave Android. Don't do it HTC.


Reader comments

HTC-Palm deal off the table, and is HTC still planning to build own OS?


I don't doubt HTC could create its own OS and Im pretty sure it will be a success but the company is more than profitable with their current strategy and if that happens all HTC partners now will become the enemy tomorrow (google and microsoft) the combo android-sense ui is an accomplishment and i dont think is gonna change. Maybe HTC will keep this on the side, testing and getting ready for the opportunity but right now i don't see it happening.

Whatever... If they're gonna support their own operating system the same way they're supporting Android handsets, they're doomed. And if they leave Android, it's all good... More room for manufacturers, who know what customer service means.

I don't understand this big love affair with HTC. I haven't had an HTC manufactured device without problems since the original Touch HD, which was let down by the antique OS. Recently the HD2 (messaging, over sensitive screen), Nexus One (colour balance, screen calibration, reception) Desire (poor exchange support - continuous sync errors), and Legend (fabulous design, woefully underpowered) have all had problems that people seem happy to accept. And I have tried every single one of them at considerable expense. I won't be trying any more and I'm quite pleased that Palm aren't going to be "rescued" by them.

Wasn't the whole point of Android so that phone manufacturer's DIDN'T have to write their own OS from scratch? If they have an issue with "constantly" needing to update Sense devices to keep up with new OS releases, then either they need to make Sense more modular to simplify updates or they are planning an OS that will only get updates every 3-5 years.

Personally, instead of reinventing the wheel with a proprietary OS (which likely means no apps), maybe they should instead focus on commercializing Sense. I would pay $20 easily for the UI on a Nexus without having to root the phone and void the warranty. Who needs 7 screens anyway, especially if they can implement scenes as an app.

So why is the Palm-HTC deal off the table? Where is that explicitly mentioned?

Anyway, it was a technogeek's wetdream and likely never to happen. Palm needs HTC more, not vice versa, and HTC is not about to disrupt their good relations with Google and MS to build their own OS. Also, skinning on OS is relatively easy compared to compiling your own OS -- just look at MS, it's taken them four years to come up with WP7 (even if most of it was accomplished in the past 18 months).

Bottom line: HTC does not buy Palm. HTC does not come up with its own OS. HTC will continue to manufacture the best Android and WP7 devices (to come) of anyone. There, I just read the future. :)

I think this is a tactical mistake by HTC. If they want to defend against Apple, they really need to bolster their patent library. Also, getting their hands on some ex-Apple engineers would be a secondary line of defense. If they could get people to create an alternative to the iTunes Store, that would be a power enough to fend off Apple.

The way I see it, HTC needs Palm's patents. I'm hoping this is a business tactic to make Palm do what it needs to do to bring HTC back to the table. The only other potential choices should be Google or Samsung.

I'm just not confident that HTC can hold off Apple's lawsuit without some insurance. I was hoping Palm would have been that insurance. I just hope someone good gets their hands on Palm. I certainly don't want Apple to get their hands on Palm.