Skip to main content

HTC sees new smartphone OS as a way to strengthen its presence in China

HTC 8XT back camera angle

A report published by the Wall Street Journal says HTC is working on its own smartphone operating system, which it will use to boost its market share in China. Quoting anonymous sources, the WSJ says the project is supervised by HTC’s chairperson Cher Wang, and is being developed following discussions with the Chinese government and the publication of a white paper saying the industry is relying too much on Google’s Android operating system.

While there are no firm technical details in the report, such as the platform on which the new OS will be built, it is stated the new software will integrate Chinese-specific social networking apps like Weibo, in the same way as Apple has done with Facebook and Twitter on iOS.

Related Videos

It’s by no means the first new operating system we’ve seen or heard about this year, as several other companies, from Mozilla to Samsung, are also working on breaking Google’s stranglehold on the industry. It may seem surprising that HTC has decided to go its own way instead of choosing an existing alternative such as Firefox OS, but the open nature of Mozilla’s new OS is equally as unattractive to Chinese officials as Android.

Despite sharing the same language and geographical proximity, the ties between Taiwanese HTC and China aren’t all that strong, and changing that is something which analysts are saying could also alter the company’s finances in the future. Mergers with Chinese companies such as Huawei and Lenovo have been suggested as a way to open up the Chinese market, but by developing a new Chinese-specific operating system, HTC could avoid such a drastic solution.

Perhaps the most telling part of the report is there’s no mention of HTC CEO Peter Chou. Recently outed as a difficult, impulsive, but talented boss in a profile by Reuters, Chou’s leadership has been blamed for the company’s financial woes over the past year. Could Cher Wang’s involvement with this project signal she is taking a more active role in the company’s development?

Apparently, HTC’s new OS is already being tested and the first phones running it could launch before the end of the year.

Editors' Recommendations

T-Mobile stopped offering HTC's flagship smartphone on its website in July
HTC 10 Review

HTC's smartphone woes didn't end after the launch of its latest flagship, the HTC 10. At launch, AT&T said it would not sell the device. In July, T-Mobile silently dropped the HTC 10 from its website but not many noticed.

It's a huge blow to the Taiwanese company that has been struggling to excite consumers with its smartphones. The HTC 10 received praise and positive reviews from the tech media, but its failure to attract consumers shows that HTC -- once king of all Android manufacturers -- has fallen far from the spotlight. Digital Trends gave the device an 8 out of 10.

Read more
HTC brings the Desire 530 and its one-of-a-kind paint job stateside
HTC Desire 530

A lot of the hype surrounding HTC these days may have to do with its flagship, the HTC 10, but that's most certainly not the only phone the company offers. In fact, as of today you can add a splash of color to your life with the HTC Desire 530, now available in the U.S. from both T-Mobile and Verizon.

The Desire 530's specs aren't bad, but what HTC says really sets this phone apart is its unique design. The device comes in three color choices, with each featuring a speckled paint splash -- something that HTC calls "micro splash." What's cool about it is that there isn't a pre-set design, so each device will look slightly different.

Read more
Qualcomm flexes its muscles in China, sues Meizu over patent licensing problems
meizu m3s china smartphone

Smartphone manufacturer Meizu has found itself at the start of legal proceedings brought about by Qualcomm, in an argument over patents. Qualcomm has filed a compliant with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, alleging that Meizu is using its 3G and 4G LTE technology without a license. It’s the first time the processor manufacturer has visited Chinese courts since losing its 2015 anti-trust case.

This is key to the complaint, and Qualcomm mentions it in the press release detailing the complaint. Last year, after a lengthy investigation into anti-competitive practices by the National Development and Reform Commission in China (NDRC), Qualcomm was fined $975 million for abusing its position as market leader over licensing costs and royalties.

Read more