HP open to licensing WebOS to third parties

Wed, Jun 29, 2011


Interesting news from HP CEO Leo Apotheker who divulged during a D9 appearance today that HP is open to licensing out WebOS to third party manufacturers. This is my Next writes:

Specifically, we gave the tantalizing (and purely hypothetical) example of HTC coming along and inquiring about manufacturing a webOS-powered phone. His answer was straightforward: that’s a conversation they’d be “open” to having. Clearly, HP intends to have a full suite of webOS-powered devices of its own — PCs, printers, handhelds, the whole nine yards — but it seems like bringing third parties into the equation has the potential to blow the platform’s market appeal wide open.

Bloomberg adds some more information to the mix, with Apotheker reitterating that the company is open to licensing its WebOS software.

“We are talking to a number of companies,” Apotheker explained. “I can share with you that a number of companies have expressed interest. We are continuing our conversations.”

While Apotheker didn’t provide any further details regarding a potential time frame for third-party licensing, the report notes, citing people familiar with the discussions, that Samsung has held talks with HP to discuss using WebOS on Samsung’s lineup of smartphones and tablets.

A partnership with Hewlett-Packard would allow Samsung, which uses Android for its Galaxy Tab tablet computers, to customize devices amid speculation that Google may restrict modifications for phones that use Android, said one of the people, who declined to be named because the talks are private.

Of course, Samsung is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Apple over copying the look and feel of iOS. Perhaps using HP’s WebOS will be Samsung’s solution to it’s current troubles with Apple.



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