HP Considering Licensing WebOS, Samsung Reportedly Interested

Bloomberg reports that HP has expressed interest in licensing its webOS mobile operating system to other companies, potentially opening the door for another major competitor in the smartphone and tablet industries.

"We are talking to a number of companies," Apotheker said in Beijing, declining to elaborate on details. "I can share with you that a number of companies have expressed interest. We are continuing our conversations."

The webOS operating system was originally developed by Palm as an answer to iOS, but was not able to gain much ground against Apple's platform and Google's Android. With HP's acquisition of Palm last year, webOS has undergone a transition as HP has attempted to move directly into the smartphone and tablet markets. HP is launching its TouchPad tablet device within the next few days, and has been said to be trying to launch its own cloud-based media service similar in some respects to Apple's iCloud.


According to the Bloomberg report, Samsung is one of the companies interested in licensing webOS, presenting an alternative to the Android-based systems currently offered by the manufacturer.

A partnership with HP would allow Samsung, which uses Android for its Galaxy Tab tablet computers, to customize devices amid speculation that Google may restrict modifications for phones that use Android, said one of the people, who declined to be named because the talks are private.

If HP is able to find success with its new mobile products and Samsung adopts webOS as a leading platform for its own devices, the mobile industry could see a shakeup with webOS becoming a legitimate contender in the race to compete with iOS and Android.

Microsoft has of course been pushing its own Windows Phone operating system as yet another competitive platform, although customer adoption has appeared weak thus far. The company has, however, partnered with Nokia in a deal to drive that manufacturer's future hardware, a deal that could make Windows Phone another major player if customers embrace the platform.

Top Rated Comments

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119 months ago
My guess is, that if this really takes of, it would be more bad news for Android than iOS.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

Anybody else think that this item better belongs in a general technology forum and not in MacRumors?


It's well known that MacRumors often reports on industry news as it often has implications for Apple and it's competitors.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago
I'd love for all 4 OS's to be mainstream players, no matter how unlikely. It would be fun to see each major update and all the hardware try to compete.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago

Oh yeah, it's doing fantastic. It's quite happily circling the drain, waiting for the other company that's doing the same, to get moving. Things couldn't be better.


Respectfully, no, you don't. What you *really* want to see is for WebOS to be *better* than Android. For that you don't need massive market share, just a better product.

Not controlling the end-to-end experience means you'll get an Android clone. It'll become just as generic as the non-iOS devices.


Could you possibly be more hypocritical?

I use a windows phone 7, namely HTC Mozart 7. It's a great phone that runs a great operating system. After all the love that I gave to webOS and android, WP7 has proved to be a better operating system with an innovative user interface and not just another iOS knockoff.

Sales do matter but its not the end of the earth. I can easily see WP7 gaining a healthy portion of the market in the next 5 years. But the operating system is rock solid and great to use.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

Hopefully it happens, and Samsung can be the next near bankrupt Palm.


Well, I am afraid, that's not gonna happen.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago
I love webOS, but I hate the old plastic hardware it's on to death. This would interest me as well...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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