Now that Samsung has denied that they are eying webOS as a potential platform for its mobile devices, HTC could end up being the one to purchase Palm’s former OS to compete against Apple’s iOS.
Not only would HTC buying webOS make sense financially, but it would also position HTC in a unique position to combat the growth of iOS in the mobile market.
Cher Wang, chairwoman of HTC, told Focus Taiwan that the company is internally considering the purchase of HP’s orphaned OS. HP killed the TouchPad and its other Palm-branded smartphones running webOS recently, and the status of webOS has been put on an indefinite standby until HP can get itself together.
HTC has always been a smartphone maker that differentiates itself from the competition, despite the fact that its devices run on Android and Windows Phone 7. HTC’s ‘Sense’ interface looks nice, and the company has always made top notch hardware.
Due to Android licensing arrangements, HTC has to pay Microsoft a percentage of every smartphone sold. If HP were to buy webOS and abandon Android, no extra licensing would be required.
Google recently bought Motorola for $12.5 billion, so that’s one less smartphone maker off the board. It’s coming down to Apple, Samsung, Google and HTC.
HTC and Apple are in the middle of a complicated, heated patent lawsuit, and Apple is being accused of copying nine HTC patents in the iPhone. Apple also has its own ‘copycat’ infringement lawsuit filed against HTC. The two are definitely at odds.
What better way for HTC to retaliate against Apple’s lawsuits then to buy what many consider the most well designed mobile OS available on the market? Samsung may not let HTC that close to webOS, but HTC could pull a surprise move and come out swinging on all fronts.
Is webOS the competition that iOS needs? If paired with HTC hardware, there’s no telling what kind of dent webOS could put in the market.