We thought that HTC's bold venture into the direct-to-consumer space
pretty much spelled doom for its once-burgeoning ODM business, but apparently not. We don't know if these guys are just exceptionally good at what they do, exceptionally cheap, exceptionally convincing, or some combination of the above, because a report out of Taiwan's Commercial Times claims that Palm, i-mate, and MWG
-- all companies who've moved their manufacturing contracts solidly away from HTC
in recent years -- have come back into the fold, ultimately bumping HTC's contracting business to account for more than 10 percent of its total business in the first quarter. We're skeptical that these three brands (all of whom compete with HTC at retail) would suddenly decide to throw up the white flag at roughly the same time, but considering the kinds of things that happen
when other ODMs come into the picture, a little HTC TLC could be just what the doctor ordered.