Samsung: We don't want HP's webOS business either

A few days ago, rumors hit the Internet that Samsung might be making a play to acquire HP's webOS business. Now Samsung's CEO Choi Gee Sung has debunked those reports, saying that the company would "never" make such a deal with HP. Bloomberg reports that Sung said, "It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion." Samsung sells smartphones that use Google's Android operating system as well as Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 OS. It also has its own in-house operating system, Bada.

Just last week, Samsung squashed rumors that it was thinking about buying HP's PC business. In fact it was forced to repeat that statement that same week when those rumors persisted. At the time Sung said, "Based on the significant disparity in scale with Samsung’s own PC business and the complete lack of synergies, it would be both infeasible and imprudent to even consider such an acquisition." HP has since said it would prefer to spin off its PC division into its own company, although the final decision on such a move has yet to be made.

HP acquired the webOS operating system in 2010 when it purchased the Palm smartphone company. Since then HP has released webOS smartphones such as the Pre3. This summer it released the HP TouchPad, a webOS-based tablet, and backed it with a massive marketing campaign. But sales were so low that in mid-August HP discontinued the production of the TouchPad and all of its other webOS hardware devices. HP has since hinted strongly that it is trying to make deals to have webOS be licensed for use by third party companies.

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I mentioned this on another article about WebOS, but it bears repeating: WebOS is turning into the smartphone equivalent of the Amiga - wonderful technology that is in many ways ahead of its competition, but no one knows how to properly market it. It will be sold off from one company to another until it vanishes into obscurity.

The trouble with trying to license WebOS elsewhere is that few companies are around who could do much more with it than HP could anyway.

I suppose some Chinese knock-off producer might jump at it, but only if HP lets the license go for a fire-sale price.

Thunderbuck said,
…few companies are around who could do much more with it than HP could anyway.

I would agree, had HP actually tried to do anything with webOS. IMHO it seems that nobody at HP - at least nobody with authority - understood that you need to heavily invest to establish a new platform (Hell look at WP7!!).

MFH said,

I would agree, had HP actually tried to do anything with webOS. IMHO it seems that nobody at HP - at least nobody with authority - understood that you need to heavily invest to establish a new platform (Hell look at WP7!!).

+1 And I wonder if HP doesn't want to make that investment, or can't...

M_Lyons10 said,

+1 And I wonder if HP doesn't want to make that investment, or can't...

I'd say they didn't want to - it's not like they're out of money