Want to hear Android partners' boilerplate congratulatory statements regarding Google's announced acquisition of Motorola Mobility presented a different way? HTC chief Peter Chou sat down this week with the Wall Street Journal to discuss the situation, saying that the company thinks it can "leverage [its] partners" -- Google and Microsoft -- while still finding a way to "differentiate to add value." Sound familiar? Indeed, this is the exact strategy HTC has been employing since the Windows Mobile 6 days, layering UI skins designed in-house atop operating systems sourced from the usual suspects. There's certainly not a hint of strategy shift here -- and if there is, Chou isn't tipping his hand.
Echoing HTC's official statement from earlier in the week, Chou says that the Motorola buy is "good news" for his company since it'll enhance Google's patent holdings and provide some semblance of shelter to HTC and its fellow top-tier Android partners. He also says Google has made it "very, very clear" that HTC will continue to be the same valued partner in the ecosystem that it's been before. As Josh writes, this is a plausible endgame -- but HP just proved that multibillion-dollar game plans can turn on a dime, so HTC certainly shouldn't be taking Google's word at face value. Cautious optimism is probably a safer strategy.
Speaking of HP, Chou's flowery language around its partnerships with both Google and Microsoft almost certainly means that it has no interest in getting involved with webOS. Samsung, LG, and Dell have all shown a tendency to be platform-agnostic in their mobile endeavors -- and I've no doubt there are at least a few licensing or buyout discussions going on behind closed doors.