HTC Deal Shows Importance of Content to Manufacturers

News that Taiwanese handset maker HTC has bought the London-based Saffron Digital and taken a stake in the U.S.-based on-demand games company Onlive Inc. shows the increasing importance for manufacturers to differentiate themselves in the market. The days of simply making better and better phones are over. Manufacturers are increasingly in need of content strategies to win new customers and help hang on to existing ones.

Last month, Nokia Corp.’s venture arm invested $8 million in Voddler Group AB, a Scandinavian video-on-demand service focused on streaming movies to Internet-connected TVs, among other devices. Other makers also offer their own exclusive content.

HTC started life making handsets for other people, but has increasingly sought to establish itself as a brand in its own right. It has enjoyed success in producing attractive and well-featured handsets running a skinned version of Google’s Android operating system, called HTC Sense. It was also one of the makers to offer a handset running Windows Phone 7 on its launch.

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