HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou says his company is sticking with Google, despite the fact that the company plans to acquire one of HTC's mobile-phone competitors.
In an interview today with The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Chou downplayed the possibility that HTC would try to develop its own operating system in lieu of using Google's Android operating system. Earlier this week, Google shocked the technology market with a $12.5 billion bid to buy handset maker Motorola Mobility.
HTC and other handset makers that also use the free open-source Android platform as the foundation for their smartphones and tablets said they were pleased by the announcement.
Chou reiterated those sentiments in his interview with the Journal. He said that Google's acquisition is all about gaining control of Motorola's patents to fend off legal challenges from Apple and others.
"It's not the operating system, it's the ecosystem," Chou told the Journal. "This acquisition is more to enhance Google's patent portfolio, to support us, to protect us, so this is good news."
Chou said Google has made clear its commitment to HTC. And he said that his company will continue to try to differentiate itself from the Android pack through innovation and acquisitions.
He told the Journal that HTC will focus on acquiring software companies among other companies that offer innovation. Last week, HTC said it plans to acquire a majority stake in Beats Electronics, which manufacturers the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and loudspeakers. And in July it announced plans to acquire California-based S3 Graphics for $300 million.
Some experts have speculated that Google's move to buy Motorola Mobility may alienate partners like HTC. And they theorize it could push these companies into the arms of Microsoft, which is pushing its Windows Phone operating system. At least for now, HTC seems to be happy to continue to work with Google. But the company is also working with Microsoft, and will continue to do so. Whether it ramps up its efforts to build more Windows Phone devices is not yet known. But at least for now, Chou has indicated it's business as usual.