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.