HTC’s just announced decision to roll out its proprietary apps to other Android devices makes a certain amount of sense.
Despite the company finally filing positive financial results in the last quarter, after years of disastrous numbers, it still needs to find new ways of making money.
And with the smartphone hardware sector so competitive, software seems like a logical jump.
The first app to roll out will be Zoe, HTC’s photo and video sharing tool that lets users create and edit show reels of snaps and clips.
This will be up for grabs on the newest of Android phones only, but marks the start of what could become a trend of other apps coming to rival phones.
We love the idea of BlinkFeed, HTC’s social aggregator, getting a wider release.
Its Sense skin wouldn’t be a bad addition or alternative to stock Android or Samsung’s TouchWiz, although that may be beyond what HTC wants to deliver.
But the question is, can it really help make HTC money?
Samsung has been rolling out Android wide apps for ages, with little success.
The fact is that its add–ons cannot compete with big name successes built by software–only companies.
Why use a Samsung service, when you can utilise anything from Evernote to Google Play to do the same?
Surely that rule applies to HTC too.
Its Creative Labs team, who have built Zoe and will build future app releases, is also going to be working on HTC only features too.
With a staff of fewer than 300, can it really deliver across the entire platform and focus on its own products too?
More importantly for HTC, can it make money?
The app economy is notoriously fickle. Few developers make big bucks and surely that applies to HTC too.
It can try, but will users really fall for Zoe when they have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine to fall back on? It seems highly unlikely at this point.
HTC is at least trying something different.
It knows that the One M8’s success can only take it so far, in the same way that releasing endless minor updates has led Samsung towards something of a dead end.
But it is certain to find that creating successful, lucrative apps is not something that can happen just because of a brand name.
It takes creativity and a slice of luck to get that far.
Hopefully it can do the business, but don’t be surprised if this move winds up as a clever, but doomed attempt to sustain growth.