Samsung Electronics, the world’s No. 2 maker of smartphones, said it would never purchase or license webOS from Hewlett-Packard. The company believes in its own Bada platform and thinks that it will eventually compete against Apple’s iOS and Google Android.
Choi Gee Sung, chief executive officer of Samsung, said that the company would “never pursue such a deal” at the IFA consumer electronics fair, reports Bloomberg news-agency. The company officially clarified its position afterwards: the firm believes that it is not right just to buy operating systems and not develop anything on its own.
“It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion. Samsung, which has its own mobile operating system called Bada, is working to boost its software capability harder than people outside think,” said Nam Ki Yung, a spokesman for Samsung.
Many observers and industry analysts expressed opinion that webOC could be bought by Samsung in order to put additional pressure onto Google Android, Microsoft Windows Phone. The expectations were motivated by the fact that Samsung has loads of resources and can afford development of almost any operating system. Nonetheless, it should be noted that webOS may not have strategic value in the webOS: it has Bada for “half-smartphones” and Google Android for flagship devices, which means there is no space for webOS.
But there may a number of new potential players, who may be interested in licensing or buying Palm/HP’s webOS. While names of such companies are too early to mention, it is pretty clear that potential buyers should have:
- Enough financial and intellectual capabilities to catch up with Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows Phone;
- Enough ambitions to enter the market of smartphones with a new OS;
- Ability to monetize the proprietary platform.
At present HP officially explores “options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward”, it is not clear whether the company plans to sell off its Palm’s webOS division (it means that it may be interesting for patent hunters of any kind) or just license the operating system to others. Without such knowledge, it is hard to imagine the future of webOS in general.