Australian owners of HTC Smartphones will soon be able to access applications from a HTC app store that will sell e-books and selected applications.
According to the Financial Times in London the Taiwanese company, whose strategy is to design and deliver different Smartphones for different carriers has started hiring staff to facilitate the new service.
Currently Samsung is developing Bada applications with a new Bada store set to go live in 2011. Also developing their own application store is Acer who is struggling to find retail partners to sell their Smartphones in Australia.
The FT said that the move by HTC to launch their own application store highlights increasing pressure on device manufacturers to differentiate themselves through content and internet services, as competition heats up in the fast-growing Smartphone sector, particularly among Google Android-based devices.
During the last quarter HTC doubled their revenues to $2.51bn, however, the company is facing increasing competition, with Samsung overtaking it in the previous quarter to become the world’s fourth-biggest Smartphone vendor, according to IDC.
The new HTC team is understood initially to include a small number of staff based in Taiwan, with plans to expand to 100 people in different locations around the world including Australia which is one of the most successful countries in the world for HTC outside of Asia.
The FT said that HTC in September partnered with Kobo, a US e-books distributor, to offer Kobo’s content on HTC devices globally. Another person close to HTC said, however, that the hires involved more than just the Kobo deal and were probably linked to the expansion of the newly-launched HTC Sense.com service.
HTC said it is “growing very fast and we are hiring for a variety of positions including marketers, developers, technical writers and many others. We are always exploring new areas we can add value to our customers but we can’t comment on our future plans.”