Let the consumer confusion flourish. Financial Times is reporting that HTC is hiring staff to build and manage an online store that will sell e-books and apps for its smartphones. HTC, like many electronics makers, is turning toward apps and unique services to make its phones stand out in a crowded market.
The Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer is hiring content editors for the planned store, says one FT source, which will concentrate on e-books, apps, and magazines. Eventually, the team may grow to more than 100 people around the world. However, another source from ZDNet Asia believes the new staff will expand HTC’s cloud service, HTCSense.com, which allows users to sync up their handset and remotely lock a device, among other things.
Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, has previously said that there was “little value” in HTC having its own app store, but he has also stated that the company needs to do more to differentiate itself than simply modifying the stock Android software. In September, HTC made a deal with Kobo, an e-book distributor, to offer its content on HTC devices.
App store fever
HTC isn’t alone. Everyone wants a piece of the app store game. Other manufacturers like RIM, Apple, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson already have app stores, and third parties are joining fast. Amazon and Getjar are also in the game. Microsoft and Google also have their own authoritative app stores where they sell content to all devices running Android or Windows Phone 7. Outside of smartphones, Acer, Intel, Apple, and Mozilla have recently announced app stores as well.
Is it wise for HTC to start its own app store? Is it necessary? Would you be excited?
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