It looks like owning your own mobile OS is all the rave these days. Following Samsung’s unfounded rumors that it was considering buying webOS, HTC has now said that they’re carefully thinking about buying a mobile OS to call their own. The news comes straight from HTC’s Cher Wang, who said:
We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse.Cher WangHTC
However, Wang also mentioned that HTC doesn’t need to produce its own OS to be able to differentiate themselves:
We can use any OS we want. We are able to make things different from our rivals on the second or third layer of a platform. Our strength lies in understanding an OS, but it does not mean that we have to produce an OS.Cher WangHTC
And that’s exactly what HTC does with Android. The company is able to change the OS so much, that it basically becomes their own. Why would they buy another OS if they can already turn Android into whatever they want it to be? Well, there’s one reason and it starts with “M” and ends with “otorola”.
Even though Google has said countless times that it plans to keep Motorola as a separate company, it’s hard to believe that Google will let the company run completely autonomously forever. Eventually, Google is going to turn to Motorola every time it wants to build something. Things like that alien-looking media player they showed at Google I/O. Basically, every time Andy Rubin or Larry Page feel like building something cool, they’ll go to Motorola.
And when that starts to happen, companies like Samsung and HTC need to have an alternative to Android. Samsung already has its own OS, called Bada, and that’s why those rumors about the company buying webOS made no sense. However, HTC doesn’t own an OS. The Taiwanese company could always turn to Microsoft if Google gets too friendly with Motorola, but things are not looking any better in the Windows Phone camp. With Microsoft basically owning Nokia now.
All of the sudden, HTC buying webOS doesn’t sound so crazy now does it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that happens. It could happen next month, next year, or the year after that. It all depends on how Google handles the Motorola acquisition.