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HTC eyes space between Apple’s ‘closed’ iOS, Google’s ‘open’ Android

Zach Epstein
June 21st, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC saw its tremendous success come to a screeching halt last year, and the company is now struggling to recover in a market dominated by two major players: Apple and Samsung. HTC may have seen a window of opportunity open recently and new One-series smartphones like the One X and One S are fantastic devices that have been well-received thus far. The company knows it will take more than sleek hardware and impressive specs to succeed in this competitive market, however, and it is looking to occupy a space somewhere between Apple’s “closed” model and Google’s “open” model in order to separate itself from the pack.

During his keynote speech at Mobile Asia Expo, HTC China boss Ray Yam outlined the company’s vision of creating “a new kind of ecosystem,” the GSMA’s Mobile Business Briefing blog reports. According to Yam, HTC’s strategy will sit somewhere in between Apple’s closed distribution model and Google’s open model.

HTC uses Android to power its smartphones, but the company’s proprietary HTC Sense UI and service layer adds a unique and closed element to the company’s devices that it hopes will further differentiate its smartphones moving forward. Yam says the company is creating a “highly optimised experience similar to the Apple system,” but he notes that the aim is differentiation using “open system standards” rather than “exclusivity,” as is the case with Apple’s products.

“The [closed] Apple experience [works so well] because they integrate everything and they have the market size, but it does not offer much choice for consumers in areas such as screen sizes,” Yam said, adding that if Apple makes a “wrong choice in the future, the whole ecosystem could go the wrong way.”

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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