Honestly, the very idea is madness. The U.S. market is dominated by BlackBerry, iPhone and Android-run smartphones. Microsoft is hoping to make a come-back with Windows Phone 7 later this year, and Palm still believes it can succeed with webOS. It's clear that Palm's failure to revitalize itself with webOS, which is by all accounts a very capable platform, is a story that could be re-played by HTC if it introduces a new mobile platform. Let's not forget about Nokia, which continues to release S60-based smartphones despite the platform's badly aging usability.
That's six separate platforms already vying for a piece of the American market. At least one of those platforms is in trouble. A seventh platform would not help at all.
That didn't stop HTC's Cheng Hui-ming, chief financial officer, from remarking to Bloomberg, "We continue to assess [developing our own OS], but that requires a few conditions to justify." I can't imagine the conditions that would justify such a move.
If HTC is serious about fielding its own mobile operating system to escape the licensing costs associated with WIndows Mobile (which it makes a boatload of), then HTC's best move would be to simply buy Palm. HTC is one of the suitors considering a Palm acquisition. HTC could take webOS to the next level, and give the platform the killer hardware that it needs to become successful. Palm said earlier this week that it is looking for a buyer.
HTC has enjoyed great success the last two years with its powerful range of Android and Windows Mobile devices. Adding a third OS under its belt could create issues with its existing partners. If HTC is serious, the company would do best to acquire an OS rather than sink the development costs into creating one from scratch.