updated 12:10 pm EDT, Mon March 26, 2012
HTC stake in SyncTV signals video service plans
HTC on Monday bought a 20 percent stake in SyncTV for what could be a sign of larger content ambitions. The deal comes partly in return for patent licenses from SyncTV's parent Intertrust Technologies and gives it access to SyncTV's techniques for digital copy protection. The exact aims weren't mentioned other than a "broad strategic technology partnership" between the two sides.
The deal gives HTC access to a service that supports not just HTC's existing choices of Android and Windows Phone but also iOS, Windows Phone, and the Xbox 360. Some Internet-aware TVs are also meant to work with SyncTV. It's unclear whether or not any services for rival platforms would continue to exist afterwards.
The buy would have come just days after talk of HTC possibly buying MOG by using Beats Audio as a proxy. Combined, they point to HTC hoping to advance its media content ambitions beyond what it has now, which is currently limited mostly to its Watch movie store. Similar to Samsung, HTC might be hoping to replicate the idea of a complete hardware, software, and content ecosystem akin established first by Apple and later by Google.
HTC has been on a mission to revitalize itself following a steep plunge in sales in the fall and ongoing slow sales in winter. New content, along with its new One series, would potentially revitalize sales that have been lost to Apple and Samsung.