Mark Bridge writes:
Google and Motorola. HP and webOS. Each apparently heading in opposite directions when it comes to strategy.
However, although HP has pretty much pulled the plug on making webOS devices, it’s not calling time on the webOS platform (which, it’s been suggested, was being held back by HP’s hardware). The important question is whether or not any other manufacturers are interested in producing webOS devices... and whether webOS developers will remain loyal to their chosen operating system. After all, even with HP’s backing, webOS ended up with a relatively small share of the mobile device market.
No-one knows yet if HP will decide to license webOS or to sell it. It was talking in June about potential licensing agreements, with CEO Leo Apotheker quoted as saying there was “no time pressure” to arrange a deal. I reckon the pressure’s increased in the last few days.
However, who’d do either?
Samsung? Wouldn’t have thought so. They’ve already got bada, their own mobile platform.
HTC? Possibly. I’m sure they’d appreciate the Palm patents that form part of the package, athough they currently seem happy enough with Android and Windows Phone.
LG? That’s more like it. They’re also working with Android and Windows Phone but they have fingers in other pies - including television.
As do Huawei and ZTE.
HP suggested in February that webOS was heading for PCs, laptops and printers. Although we’ve not seen anything like that yet, perhaps this potential will appeal to manufacturers who produce more than just mobiles or tablets.
And that’s why I reckon - if HP doesn’t end up selling webOS for its patent portfolio - the OS will be picked up by someone who’s thinking beyond mobile.