Rumours are rampant today that smartphone hotshot HTC is planning to launch its own app store to turn the brilliant Sense user interface into a "bone deep" skin on top of Android.
The Sense UI, which has done more than anything to separate HTC's Android stable from the chasing pack, already has a host of market-leading apps like Weather, FriendStream, Favourites and Footprints.
These bespoke widgets, which also includes the impressive People service that links phone contacts with social networking services, could be the start of something bigger with app developers producing apps specifically for the manufacturers.
According to the Financial Times the app store, which would sell both applications and ebooks, would allow HTC to be more self-sufficient rather than rely too heavily on the Android operating system and its Android Market store.
The report claims that HTC is currently hiring for a 100 strong team that would work across the globe on the online store.