Stan Schroeder reports for Mashable:
While such a purchase is far from a done deal, the fact that HTC is even considering it is telling. Nokia has close ties with Microsoft and its WP7 platform; HP folded its webOS business, and Google recently purchased Motorola Mobility. This leaves HTC — which has grown to be one of the biggest phone manufacturers in the world — exposed and dependent on two mobile operating systems whose owners’ priorities lie elsewhere.
It seems that all the major players are scrambling for some Apple-style semblance of vertical integration (except for HP, who is bowing out before even getting started). HTC finds itself in a tough spot as a technical middleman. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Wintel business model from the 90s (create the hardware, license the OS) is essentially dead. Back then, it was easy: go with the OS used by the majority of the world. That’s no longer an option, considering iOS is proprietary and closed and Android is literally a free-for-all, with the added kick of Google giving priority treatment to its new soon-to-be hardware arm at Motorola Mobility.