Firms have to come up with 'cooler software': analysts

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) Software innovations catering to consumers' need will take the center stage in competition among smartphone makers, according to local analysts. Competition will shift from hardware specifications to software development and companies will have to come up with "cooler" software and software services "closer to consumers' need", the analysts said Saturday. The remarks came after Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. and Facebook announced their latest partnership, HTC First, a smartphone installed with the social network's new software "Home," which allows users to receive constant updates on Facebook from the homescreen. The phone will be sold exclusively in the U.S. via American telecom carrier AT&T. The analysts said Facebook's new software would use more convenient social networking functions to attract consumers. Software developers trying to tap into the smartphone market, need to fully communicate with and integrate resources with hardware developers to create better gadgets, they suggested. However, other experts contended that there were enough applications to run Facebook in the market and that although the HTC First could be convenient to heavy Facebook users, it might not be attractive enough. The HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa, two other phones featuring Facebook functions, have posted worse-than-expected sales, they said. (By Esme Jiang and Jamie Wang)