In all the talk about the low sales of the HTC First (the so-called Facebook phone), there’s one bit of information, and one question, I’ve not seen answered How do the sales numbers of a mid-range Android device on a US network that runs the Facebook overlay compare to sales of a mid-range Android device on a US network that runs HTC’s own UI layer? Perhaps the HTC First sold in the same rough range as other mid tier Android devices targeted at regular consumers?
Posts Tagged ‘htc’
It’s been a busy week in the Windows Phone world, what with CES, new models, and some great app announcements. What better way to catch up on all the news and make sense of it with the All About Windows Phone Team and our weekly podcast?
In this episode… we bring you all the Windows Phone related news from CES. There’s discussion of the Microsoft keynote, upcoming Xbox Live titles and the first Windows Phone LTE devices, the HTC TITAN 2 and the Nokia Lumia 900, both of which will be available through US operator AT&T. We finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.
There are going to be a lot of people telling HTC why they have had their profit drop, and I suspect that the advice will match the affiliations and personal wish list of the commentators. So expect a lot of geeks to suggest the major reason for this drop is the lack of an open boot loader on their Android handsets; high-end tech blogs to just know it’s because they insist on using Sense UI and not the stock Android UI; fashion blogs will say it’s because nobody buys black any more; while the BBC will point to HTC’s appearance on Watchdog…
Sometimes blogs are more like Rorschach Ink Blot tests than people realise.
David Gilson (moonlighting at Blottr instead of the All About family), talks about the current state of play in the Android world with the linkbaiting headline of “Is Android Doomed?”
Google has to walk a fine line of not being seen to give preferential treatment to Motorola Mobility, in order to stop the likes of HTC and Samsung quitting Android. So far it’s been doing a good job, by means of helping them to fight its proxy patent war against Apple.
An interesting read…
U.S. Patent No. 6,473,006 on a “method and apparatus for zoomed display of characters entered from a telephone keypad”; originally filed by Phone-com, which assigned it to Openwave, then sold to a French company named Purple Labs, which sold it on to Myriad’s French subsidiary, sold by Myriad to Google last year and by Google to HTC on August 29, 2011 (recorded on September 1).
And now HTC use it to sue Apple for infringing on their IP. Madness, I tell you. Madness!
Time and time again we hear how Apple are ninjas in the supply chain, and this is why they can make money and stay ahead of the competition.
We also hear lots of people asking how Nokia will differentiate with Windows Phone if Samsung, HTC and others are also building devices with Mango. The answer is not in the software changes Nokia can make (although those will be useful). The key is going to be in the hardware chain. It’s not as locked in as Apple’s, but it’s one of the best around and is going to give Nokia a cost advantage when they go like for like, or allow better hardware at price matching. And that’s before the logistics chain is considered.
So when Nokia say “hardware” don’t just think better components.
Janne Jalkanen, who has more experience of issues with Symbian/Nokia than most, found out:
[lots of well presented reasons against Android] – Update: Janne points out these are specifc to HTC.
Anyhoo, even if I did say that this never would happen, I’m back with Symbian. I got myself a Nokia E7, which is, especially with Symbian Anna, a pretty spiffy machine. Now, it’s got it’s own irritations (especially on the app development front), and my mind still boggles at the retardedness of the browser. Not shipping a first-class mobile browser at this day and age is simply inexcusable. The Maemo and Meego teams did it, why can’t Symbian? (Rhetorical question, don’t answer. I was there. I know. I still fume occasionally just thinking about it. If I had been given free reign over that topic, heads would’ve rolled many times.)
But Symbian works. And it’ll keep me in business for the next few months or years, doing most of the things you would expect a smartphone to do, until the next suitable phone comes along. It might be Bada, it might be Android, it might be Windows Phone, or it might be something completely different. The mobile world still changes fast, and getting too hung up on strategies and which-ceo-said-what is just a good way of getting yourself a headache. Just get what you need and use it.
So you have a competent smartphone operating system, an engineering team that, with the right inducement, could stay with the OS, and a rather fluid market looking for options. What will HP do with WebOS next? Let’s have some pointless speculative fun over the next few paragraphs.
Facebook buys the whole operation.
Probably a long shot, and built on the speculation that Zuckerberg and co. are working on a Facebook phone. They certainly have some raw data (via Three in the UK), and acquiring a bundle of software engineers, an OS that is built on HTML5 and web technologies, with (you assume) a working relationship with hardware manufacturers. the question remains whether Facebook could sell better than HP, but they’d be in a far better place to monetise the handsets through Facebook Credits, advertising, and the whole social graph. Chances on this one? Low but at least it would make sense.
The patents go on Ebay
Most likely the jewels will be hawked around – there are a bundle of patents available to the highest bidder, various tranches of IP, and I’d expect the Linked In profiles of all the Engineer to be up to date. Broken up is the most likely fate.
Christmas comes early for the open source movement
Yes Android is open (Go Andy!), but a people are finding out, there’ a lot of kinks along that road. So what if HP decided to go for a scorched earth? Engineering time would need to be found to clean up the code and make it suitable for public consumption, but imagine if WebOS was suddenly available to everyone. Android is closely tied to the Google ecosystem so could never be 100% open, Symbian is out there, but Nokia has kept back a lot of the more useful applications. There is no ‘build it youself’ OS out there.
It’s a very very low chance, but it would be just another crazy step in the smartphone world over the last few weeks and months.
David Potter’s chequebook opens up 20 years later
Back in the mid-nineties Palm had a number of options to it – it sold and went with 3Com, but one option would have been to be bought by Psion. And while that company has had an even rougher time of it, it’s still around, making PDAs for Enterprise as Psion Teklogic. Specialising in lower volume runs, could they swing in and take WebOS and build up a boutique range of smartphones? (Hey I did say these would be fun!)
HTC become the primary licencee
To my mind this is a strong contender. With problems in the house of Android and Google hitching Motorola to their side, the major Andoird players need to check their cupboards. Yes they could swing to Windows Phone ,but Nokia’s the big player there. Samsung do have a reserve option in Bada, ZTE are churning out low cost handsets so won’t be that worried about any high end device dominance… but what does HTC have? Exactly. If they’re careful they can avoid burning a bridge with Google, but if HTC want to move up from simple box shifting, then WebOS could be one strategy.
What will really happen?
Who knows. I suspect the answer will be not much. The last thing HP need is another company making a success of WebOS when they didn’t. That could be muted if it was a simple licencee program and a sucessful partner, but that has a lot of support needs and I don’t think HP are moving in that direction. expect lots of noise, some smart ideas never followed through on, and no more WebOS devices.