Well, Samsung is out. The CEO, Choi Gee Sung, has said while attending the IFA electronics expo that the company is not looking to purchase the WebOS system from HP, despite speculation that they were looking to boost its software assets.
“It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion,” he told Bloomberg in Berlin.
HP axed all of the WebOS products that it had, and is now looking to get rid of the OS it bought in its acquisition of Palm just 18 months ago. Speculation pointed to Samsung, HTC or even Facebook as companies interested in the OS.
However, the likelihood that Samsung and HTC were going to buy it was pretty small. Both are strong backers of rival Android and they already have phones for Windows Phone 7. Samsung also has its own internal OS called Bada. Their need for WebOS isn’t there.
Well, unless HP ties it to a possible acquisition to its consumer PC division that it is trying to spin-off or sell. Samsung is also pointed by analysts as a potential buyer, which they have also denied.
The WebOS platform was seen at the time as revolutionary, especially with multitasking, when it first came out. However, the Palm Pre – the first device to run the OS – came out after the hype had died down and Apple’s iOS managed to catch up to match or even better the features promised. Since then, it has now struggled against Android, Windows Phone 7 and even Symbian.
The hardware that HP pushed out, especially the tablets, did not help its survival. So, when HP axed it, it did not come to a surprise to many – except for Harvey Norman, who were so outraged that they pulled it off shelves after three days of sales.
At least they have a somewhat decent user base – thanks to their firesale of tablets at $99. Because without that, it may never get rid of the OS because no one would want to support it.