Yesterday evening gave way to a new rumor regarding HTC’s plans to further differentiate its smartphones and tablets from competitors. Sources for GigaOm say HTC is working with Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine to create a new music streaming service tailor-made for HTC devices. We could see the service for the first time during Mobile World Congress. If this is true, we’re also likely to see a couple device announcements as well.
HTC was one of the first smartphone manufacturers to take Android and make it its own. HTC’s earlier Android phones such as the HTC Hero and HTC Desire were also attractive from a physical design and UI standpoint. HTC Sense is also arguably the best Android overlay on the market. The problem is HTC isn’t in a world of its own anymore. Its profits are dropping as the Android device market gets more crowded. That’s why HTC has taken huge financial interests in companies such as Beats Audio and OnLive. If the public can begin to see HTC as a company that will provide them with top-notch entertainment services such as cloud gaming and streaming music, it may be able to turn things around.
Of course, HTC still has to compete with existing music streaming services such as Rdio and Spotify. Not only have these services been around longer, they also aren’t tied to a single manufacturer. The possible exclusivity of HTC’s music service could be a real turn off. Sure it may be nice to have, but it may not be worth it to those who weren’t already going to buy a HTC device.