Aug 28 AT 10:03 AM Nick Sarafolean 12 Comments

HTC to create own mobile operating system


We’ve all heard stories of the friction between Google and China. Because of that, Android phones have had trouble making a huge impact there. Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, HTC could be making its own mobile operating system targeted at Chinese consumers.

It’s no secret that HTC is struggling to get into the black. The creation of their own, China-friendly mobile OS could translate to a foothold in this market that could help the company get their finances back on track. Reportedly, HTC’s chairwomen, Cher Wang, is heading up the operation and working with Chinese government officials on the project to ensure it abides by their many restrictions. HTC hopes to feature deep integration with Weibo, China’s Twitter counterpart, in an effort to further tailor the system to Chinese consumers. While HTC’s dabblings with Facebook phones fell flat, a social-oriented phone might actually work in China.

Keep in mind that this isn’t HTC’s first go with a home brewed OS. A couple of you might remember when HTC released the HTC Smart in 2010. Smart was a mid-range smartphone running on Qualcomm’s Brew operating system, designed to change depending on your mood and what you were doing. Indeed, it was a bit of a precursor to Chameleon launcher for Android. It never really took off, but it’s at least worth noting that HTC has experimented with operating systems before.

I think there’s a fair chance that HTC could strike gold with its own mobile operating system. Obviously, the smartphone market in China is still fairly unsaturated. But if HTC can create something that’s approved by the Chinese government and is accepted by the people, they could have a real chance at claiming a niche in the market. And it does help that HTC has some of the nicest looking software design out there.

Do you guys think that HTC has a chance with their own OS?

Source: Wall Street Journal

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

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  • Troik

    I really hope they do, not for my self, I’ll stick with android as long as google does, but I really liked HTC for many years now and I don’t wanne see them go, if that keeps them in the black, go for it.

  • Brandon Johnigan

    Hm, if they were to do it right, I’m sure they would be able to get some traction in China. Hopefully that will help them recover from the losses they have encountered.They should make it run a heavily skinned version of Android and a custom app market. The custom app market would let developers submit the same apps they have for Android, but HTC could remove certain ones that aren’t allowed in China.

  • Kene

    If this is true then its obvious the HTC management has still not learnt its lessons.

  • Monk

    This is nonesense… Android has more than 90% of the Chinese market, maybe not with Google apps, but with Chinese alternatives. Google is struggling in China, not android.
    HTC does not have the resources needed to create a new OS. Even Samsung, Nokia and many others bigger and healthier than htc failed. Who will provide the apps? Even Microsoft with It’s Billons can’t get developer traction with the main apps still not available for WP8.

  • Paul Atreides

    I pray this isn’t HTC’s death rattle, and I don’t think this will make them profitable again.

  • EmeryLee

    Good luck with that!! You think it’s expensive to produce these devices? Wait until you have to employ developers to create, debug, and improve the OS. And the cost of marketing it to the masses. Yep, good luck with that.

  • romy134

    I always loves HTC but this might break the camels back

  • pete

    “Android phones have had trouble making a huge impact there.” ….what the heck!!!!? I live in China…the latest studies show more than 70 percent of all smart phones are running Android. Now most of these are completely stripped of Google but they are still Android. If HTC builds their OS forked from Android, they really don’t have to change much.

  • Ravi Joshi

    I think it’s time to collectively ditch HTC altogether. I got burned in Nexus One, and wowed to never buy another HTC, but their recent progress, if it’s one, had me thinking otherwise. But with the financial woes and insane ideas like their own OS, the company may have just crossed into other dimension.

    • donger

      The Nexus One was the best phone I ever owned. It beaten every phone that was out and coming out months after it had came out.

  • Peter Jespersen

    Most likely they are thinking of Replicant, as they already got the Android expertese – but if they really want to get an edge in China, they should go for the SailfishOS license

    • Jeff


      Absolutely! They’re mad it they don’t at least carefully assess the Sailfish Alliance.
      It shares many goals/interests, & would tie nicely into their portfolio & ambitions in East Asia.