HTC mulling its own smartphone OS

HTC is considering its own smartphone operating system, but the company acknowledge the difficulty of such a move and cautioned that no decision has been made.

"We continue to assess, but that requires a few conditions to justify" a proprietary operating system, HTC CFO Cheng Hui-ming told Bloomberg in an interview. "There are many, multiple factors to be considered together, rather than a simple statement as to own or not to own" its own software, Cheng said. The move could put HTC into direct competition with companies it licenses software from. However, it would not be unprecedented; last year, Samsung launched its own mobile platform, bada.

HTC is world's fourth-largest smartphone maker, after Nokia, Research In Motion and Apple, and is the world's largest maker of phones running Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform. The company has emerged as a leader in building phones based on Google's Android platform. HTC has its own custom user interface, called Sense, which it can overlay on top of Windows Mobile or Android. Analysts have widely praised HTC's Sense. The smartphone maker also released a phone earlier this year based on Qualcomm's BREW MP platform.

Indeed, HTC has been mentioned in numerous reports as a possible buyer for webOS-maker Palm; reports have indicated that Palm has hired investment banks to explore the possibility of a sale. HTC again declined to comment on the rumors.

Separately, Dow Jones Newswires reported that, according to an unnamed source, HTC's smartphone shipments will jump 30 percent in its second quarter compared with its first quarter. The source indicated jump--which translates into shipments of at least 4.6 million units in HTC's second quarter--will be helped along by stronger U.S. sales and new product launches.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
Report: Palm searching for a smartphone suitor
HTC boasts of U.S. smartphone growth
HTC unwraps new Android phones, Sense UI updates
HTC promises to storm back in Q1
Samsung enters open mobile OS market