Is Samsung planning on buying webOS from HP?

29 Aug 2011

Is Samsung planning on buying webOS from HP?

Samsung is rumoured to be planning to buy webOS from HP and has appointed an ex vice president of HP’s Personal Systems Group, Raymond Wah, to handle Samsung’s PC sales.

The move would give Samsung access to a powerful operating system capable of powering smartphones and tablet computers unlike its Bada operating system that currently works on entry-to-mid range phones.

HP announced in recent weeks that it would be looking at options to spin-off its Personal Systems Group and exit the personal computer business.

It also announced that despite launching the TouchPad and the Pre3 smartphone it would be looking at spinning off the webOS division it bought from Palm for US$1.2bn last year.

Samsung’s acquisition of webOS may be a reaction to Google’s US$12.5bn acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Despite Google saying it will remain committed to keeping its Android operating system open, buying webOS may be a foil against any sudden decision by Google to emulate Apple’s closed model.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years