Peter Chou, chief executive of HTC, had previously said he saw “little value” in HTC running its own application store. But he has also said that it was no longer enough for HTC to simply customise the standard Android user interface with its own “skin”: “It is not enough to be skin-deep. We need to go bone-deep.”
HTC was the world’s biggest Windows Mobile vendor, at one time claiming to have sold over 80% of all WinMo phones ever made.
I always considered them to be the natural leaders in the Android licensing cohort. First, because they are the most agile and second because they had the operator relationships that allowed white-label operator phones.
HTC aspired to differentiate itself by “skinning” Windows Mobile and have carried their Sense UI over to Android offering a brand image distinct from competitors. However, HTC’s branded strategy may have upset their operator partnerships (no evidence of this, just hypothesis). In the event, HTC, though prosperous, is not the largest single Android vendor.
Now the comment above from Peter Chou indicates that HTC is going to integrate the experience further. Building its own APIs, store and perhaps more. Not satisfied with “re-skinning” perhaps it will “re-bone” as well.
Going “bone-deep” sounds a lot more integrated and inter-dependent than modular to me.