Samsung reportedly interested in webOSBy Hanleigh Daniels 30 August 2011 | Categories: news
Last week HP announced that it will end its line of webOS-based smartphones as well as the TouchPad tablet. The company also alluded that webOS isn’t completely dead and buried, stating that it would “continue to explore options to optimise the value of webOS software going forward.”
HP's board of directors had also authorised the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG), which focuses on business and consumer PCs and mobile computing devices. One of the companies reported to be interested in HP’s PSG was Samsung, who has denied these reports.
According to DigiTimes, the Korean tech giant has already recruited HP's ex-vice president of PSG marketing Raymond Wah, to take the reigns of its PC sales division. Now the Galaxy SII and Galaxy Tab maker is reportedly pondering the acquisition of HP’s webOS in order to do battle with the likes of Apple’s iOS.
This even though Samsung is the biggest manufacturer of Android-operating smartphones and also possesses its own developed mobile operating system (OS) in bada, which powers devices such as the Samsung Wave.
The publication stated that “sources from notebook players” provided two motivations for Samsung’s new position. Firstly, the reason why Samsung might not have its eyes on HP’s PSG is because it has a low gross margin that might hinder Samsung's panel and DRAM businesses, which has considerably higher gross margins. This makes HP's webOS a more favourable target for Samsung.
According to CNet, webOS is a strong mobile OS which boasts a number of innovative features, even if the products operating on it haven’t exactly set the consumer market alight. Besides the actual software itself, Samsung might also be interested in webOS's significant patent portfolio (intellectual property), which may come in very handy when it is defending itself against patent lawsuits from companies including Apple.
Google’s forthcoming acquisition of Motorola Mobility, has led to speculation that although all Android original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) might be equal, one OEM may in the future turn out to be more equal than the others. However, JK Shin, Samsung’s president of mobile global operations, stated the following in the wake of the Googorola announcement: “We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”
Neither HP or Samsung have made any announcements and Samsung isn’t commenting on these latest reports, so for now, all this is all just speculation.
In related news Samsung also recently revealed that it will be unveiling the Galaxy S II LTE and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE at the IFA trade show in Berlin in a few days time.
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