Device operating systems

Is HTC Being Senseless?

11:45 AM -- High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) is giving its customers until April 30 to backup their data from HTCSense.com, the service consumers thought they were using to backup their data.

The handset maker wrote in a letter Tuesday that users will have to sync their own contacts, messages, footprints and call history or else lose it all at the end of April, as HTC works on rolling out "new and improved services."

The move likely has to do with the company's Android overlay, HTC Sense, of which the backup service is a part. It's banking on the user experience to help it stand out from the legions of other Android phones on the market. In the demos I've seen, the UI is slick and simple and gives its phones a distinct HTC feel. (See Leading Lights Finalists: Best New Service or App (Mobile), Android: More Than One Way to Skin an OS? and HTC Knocks Some Sense Into Developers.)

But HTC has also struggled to keep up in recent months, forcing it to refocus its strategy on fewer flagship devices. Redesigning and improving its Sense UI, and optimizing it for Long Term Evolution (LTE) apps, makes sense as part of its new strategy. (See HTC: LTE Handsets Disappoint.)

It just seems odd that its customers have to backup their own or lose it. It's not exactly a testament to the public cloud, although HTC is fine with letting Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) pick up the slack, telling users: "If you would like phone location or backup services for your device, please visit Google Play (formerly Android Market) and download an application that best meets your needs."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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