HTC, Like Apple and RIM, May Want Its Own Mobile OS

HTC is reportedly considering owning a mobile OS of its own - like Apple and RIM successfully do - instead of relying on Google and Microsoft. The report makes a purchase of Palm, with its valuable webOS platform, seem more likely.

Smartphone maker HTC is considering whether to equip its phones with its own operating system, Bloomberg reported April 13.
"We continue to assess, but that requires a few conditions to justify [having our own OS]," HTC CFO Cheng Hui-ming told Bloomberg.
HTC is the manufacturer of several popular smartphones running the mobile Google OS, Android. Among them are the Google Nexus One, the T-Mobile myTouch 3G, the Droid Eris and the HTC Evo-the world's first 3G/4G Android handset. HTC additionally offers devices, such as the HD2, that run a mobile OS from Microsoft.
Offering an OS of its own, as Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion have successfully done, would enable HTC to be less reliant on outside parties.
"There are multiple factors to be considered together, rather than a simple statement as to own or not to own," Cheng said.
HTC's consideration of a mobile OS of its own is likely to give new legs to reports that HTC is interested in purchasing the for-sale Palm. While it's been suggested that HTC could benefit from Palm's patent portfolio, Palm's mobile platform, webOS, is its more obvious best asset.
"WebOS is a good, modern OS, and it could be a strong competitor to Android-based devices given a proper level of marketing investment, especially in the home markets of the acquirer," analyst Jack Gold, with J. Gold Associates, wrote in an April 13 report on possible Palm suitors.
Morgan Stanley analysts believe that webOS could enable Motorola to have a more long-term mobile device business, Bloomberg reported, and finds Nokia to also be a possible fit.
Lenovo, Microsoft, LG, Dell and Samsung have been named as possible, though not likely, purchasers for Palm.