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Samsung rumored in talks to license webOS from HP

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Wed June 29, 2011

HP in talks with Samsung, others to license webOS

HP is involved in negotiations to license its webOS software for mobile devices, CEO Leo Apotheker said in an interview. While a number of companies are interested, Samsung is one of them, three unnamed sources close to the discussions maintain, according to a Bloomberg report. The HP CEO and a Samsung spokesperson, Jason Kim, didn't comment on these rumors.

The move would give Samsung more flexibility in its cell phone strategy, as it currently relies mainly on Google's Android OS with only a small portion of its sales coming from Bada and Windows Phone. It's rumored Google may restrict modifications that phone makers can make, and webOS would let Samsung have an alternative.

HP, in turn, would get a much-needed cash infusion at a time when PC sales are low. The company saw a sharp drop in home PC shipments at a time when Apple, and fast-moving Windows designers like Lenovo, are gaining ground.

Early this month, HP said it was open to licensing webOS for use on connected TVs and other devices, if third parties can help improve the software. The company has been careful not to suggest it would adopt the looser model used by Google.

Samsung has been seeing modest growth in smartphones but has still been losing ground overall, even to smartphone-only phone makers like Apple, as its non-Android phone sales have been dropping.

by MacNN Staff



  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HP needs to avoid fragmentation

    Licensing webOS is a great idea. It could help make Samsung stand out from the pack of generic, commoditized droid makers.

    The company has been careful not to suggest it would adopt the looser model used by Google.

    Letting 3rd parties hack up webOS is not a good idea, because it leads to fragmentation. HP needs to avoid the droid fragmentation nightmare scenario.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    fragmentation primer for the uninformed

    From the end user perspective, people are not upset when -> a guy in China runs a 3 year old version of the OS, or Grandma hasn't connected her iPhone to iTunes since day one, and never accepted an OS update.

    They are upset when a new version of the OS is released, and they don't get the option of updating.

    Now I won't even get into it from the developer's perspective, because if you are developer, you know your perspective.

    But from the user's perspective, what HP would be wise to do, is to have a plan to roll out updates simultaneously to their partner devices - otherwise it upsets people when they are left out.

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