updated 04:10 pm EDT, Tue April 13, 2010
HTC says own OS depends on certain terms
HTC is considering the possibility of making its own mobile OS, the company's CFO Cheng Hui-ming mentioned in an interview on Tuesday. He was careful to note that HTC still "continue[s] to assess" its options but said that there could be definite advantages to making both hardware and software, like Apple and RIM do for the iPhone and BlackBerry. It would depend on "multiple factors" being in alignment to justify the move, Cheng told Bloomberg.
The executive was mum on rumors that HTC might buy Palm and said there was no set deadline for when it would want to have an OS of its own.
HTC has made a business out of making phones for other operating systems and is currently the star manufacturer for both Android and Windows Mobile. In tying itself to others, however, it has been dependent on how well these companies develop their software. Until it shifted most of its attention to Android, HTC was hurt by Windows Mobile's unpopularity. Most of HTC's success has come from customizing the OS; the HD2's brisk sales were owed in part to a custom UI that added multi-touch and masked most of the finger-hostile elements of Windows Mobile.
A self-made OS would decouple HTC from these companies, as it could release phones on its own schedule and add hardware-specific features at any time. The company would face a number of challenges if it developed its own software, such as the steep research and development costs as well as the difficulty of creating and supporting a new mobile app platform when Apple and Google already have years of lead time.