Amazon is rumoured to be in talks to buy Palm from HP in order to obtain webOS. It’s reportedly the leading contender to buy Palm among a number of other unnamed companies.
Palm’s former CEO Jon Rubinstein, who now works in HP, joined Amazon’s board late last year and said in an interview with This Is My Next that Amazon would make “a great partner” to expand the webOS ecosystem.
WebOS was used in HP’s TouchPad tablet, along with a number of smartphones. However, just 49 days after the TouchPad’s launch, HP decided it would sell off its webOS business. It has since confirmed layoffs of 525 people in its webOS division.
Amazon recently announced an Android tablet – the Kindle Fire – which was heavily customised for its branding and services. If it did buy the OS, it could be used to distinguish itself from other tablet competitors by redesigning the OS specifically for its offerings.
There has also been speculation that Amazon could be looking for Palm’s hardware expertise for its future tablets. It was reported that the Kindle Fire’s design was outsourced to Quanta, the designer and manufacturer of the BlackBerry PlayBook, to ship it in time for Christmas.