HP’s now deceased TouchPad tablet, powered by the webOS software.
In addition to whispers of a possible take over of Hewlett-Packard’s personal computer business worth forty million PC units in 2011, Samsung is said to be considering purchasing the webOS operating system HP got through the last year’s Palm acquisition.
This comes via a DigiTimes report this morning, citing “sources from notebook players”. In fact, that may be the reason alone behind Samsung’s rumored interest in HP’s PC making biz, the sources suspect. Samsung, of course, already makes PC notebooks but with only ten million units in this year they aren’t exactly in the big league.
Of course, the rumor-mill has been speculating about such a move since Hewlett-Packard shot down webOS and announced intentions to exit the low-margin personal computer business earlier this month. While we have to take those stories with a few pinches of salt, it’s easy to see webOS flourish under Samsung.
The company would further reduce its dependence on Android software as Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola has left the search giant’s commitment to Android backers dwindling in the air.
Samsung, which also develops Bada, its own operating system for feature phones, could make, promote and sell webOS smartphones and tablets on a global scale. And if HP’s TouchPad fire-sale is an indication, the industry and consumers yearn for a third mobile platform in order to avoid the Android-iOS duopoly. Think about it: The webOS software running on Samsung’s beautifully designed hardware rocking cutting-edge processors and graphics – and priced aggressively – could let Samsung compete with iPad more effectively than with its current crop of Android-driven tablets.
Let’s not forget Palm’s intellectual property portfolio that would no doubt enable the company to avoid future lawsuits from rivals. As a matter of fact, the webOS licensing would enable Samsung to gain a much-needed patent leverage against Apple in the mobile space.
The report also notes Samsung reportedly has already recruited HP’s ex-vice president of PSG marketing Raymond Wah to handle Samsung’s PC sales. Samsung on its part denied the original story which called for Samsung to become the de facto leading PC maker worldwide by the means of acquiring HP’s ailing computer business.