The Washington Post

Should HTC buy webOS?

HTC is reportedly considering picking up its own mobile platform. (PR NEWSWIRE)

According to a report from Focus Taiwan, the smartphone maker is thinking about picking up its own operating system. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang told media in China that the company has discussed the possibility of buying a system “internally, but we will not do it on impulse.”

Samsung has also been named as a possible candidate for webOS, but Samsung already has its own operating system, Bada, and the company’s chief executive Choi Gee Sung made it pretty clear that he’s not interested in webOS. Earlier this month, he told Bloomberg that his company will “never” purchase an operating system.

Right now, HTC has a pretty good thing going. A main Android partner, the company is also cozy with Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform — in fact, AT&T just announced a new HTC Windows Phone Monday. And the company already has its own distinctive flavor of Android in the “HTC Sense” overlay that graces its many smartphones.

Would adding a third operating system to the mix help or hurt HTC?

The choice has some pros and cons for the smartphone maker. On the plus side, having its own OS puts it in a better position if Google’s acquisition of Motorola squeezes the company out. The same is true of the Nokia-Microsoft partnership. Having its own operating system could prove beneficial — if only for security purposes — to HTC.

On the flip side, competing with itself could be a problem for the company, especially since it would be unlikely to grab a strong foothold in the Android- and iOS-dominated market. Even with webOS’s fanbase and devotees of its own Sense overlay, an HTC operating system would always, at best, be a niche.

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AT&T promises Mango for all Windows phones, three new 4G models

HP CEO: Shutting down WebOS ‘difficult but necessary’

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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