Saturday, September 03, 2011

No sale: Samsung CEO says his company will 'never' buy HP's webOS

Rumors of device maker Samsung opting to license or buy HP's webOS platform have been discounted by Samsung's CEO Choi Gee Sung. Responding to a question IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, Choi said that his company will "never" pursue such a deal.

11% to 32% OFF Top Branded USB Flash Drives,Ends"It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion," Choi was quoted as saying. Later, a Samsung spokesperon in Seoul confirmed Choi’s remarks.

Since HP said that it was terminating webOS hardware development, speculation has run rampant that someone would come in and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, meaning that someone, like Samsung, might come in and buy the platform from HP. HP inherited the platform when it bought Palm in a $1.2 billion deal in 2010.

HP has said that webOS platform development continues, but without hardware to run it on, there's little reason for developers to create apps for the OS. That said, when HP ran a fire sale for the HP TouchPad tablet, lowering the price to $99 from $399 for a 16GB version (it launched at $499, but the price was lowered by $100 later) and $149 for the 32GB version, there was a "run" on TouchPads.

HP has said it will produce one more production run of the TouchPad, sometime before the end of HP's fiscal Q4 2011, which ends Oct. 31.

However, there are some reasons that Samsung might want to license or acquire webOS. There are, for one, the patent challenges around Android. There is also the fact that Google recently acquired Motorola, mostly in an attempt to shore up Google's patents cache, but that still leads to the question of what advantages Motorola will see as a Google subsidiary.

Protect Your PrivacyHowever, Samsung already has its own proprietary platform, Bada. It recently released the SDK for version 2.0, and announced some 2.0 devices, as well. Bada 2.0 adds high-end smartphone functionality. It wouldn't seem like Samsung would want ... or need ... to have a third OS in its stable.

It is true that HP in July admitted that it was trying to license webOS, and sources familiar with the matter said Samsung had been involved in talks.

Market research firm Ovum believes that HP probably won’t be able find a webOS partner, as it believse webOS offers "little benefit" compared with other platforms.


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