updated 09:40 am EST, Mon February 7, 2011
HTC puts cash in Saffron for phone, tablet media
HTC today said it had invested in Saffron Digital [note: Flash-heavy page] for a push into an Android media store. The unspecified amount of cash will be used to take advantage of Saffron's "mobile multimedia delivery" and deliver content optimized for mobile devices. It hoped to expand worldwide access and to start delivering games and music.
The payout doesn't give HTC any exclusive rights.
Saffron already provides some services through HTC but also helps out LG, Nokia, Paramount, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and T-Mobile. The company has deals through Microsoft and Google's new acquisition Widevine to supply copy protected video and may be clues as to HTC's overall strategy.
The move could help expand Sense beyond its current sync and device location features to bring true media services, such as music and video streaming, to future HTC devices. A focus on larger smartphones as well as the introductions of tablets like the Flyer and Scribe would put much more importance on having content ready to go. Analysts have regularly credited some of the iPad's success to its having books, music and video ready from the outset.