updated 02:55 pm EDT, Wed June 29, 2011
HP in talks with Samsung, others to license webOS
HP is involved in negotiations to license its webOS software for mobile devices, CEO Leo Apotheker said in an interview. While a number of companies are interested, Samsung is one of them, three unnamed sources close to the discussions maintain, according to a Bloomberg report. The HP CEO and a Samsung spokesperson, Jason Kim, didn't comment on these rumors.
The move would give Samsung more flexibility in its cell phone strategy, as it currently relies mainly on Google's Android OS with only a small portion of its sales coming from Bada and Windows Phone. It's rumored Google may restrict modifications that phone makers can make, and webOS would let Samsung have an alternative.
HP, in turn, would get a much-needed cash infusion at a time when PC sales are low. The company saw a sharp drop in home PC shipments at a time when Apple, and fast-moving Windows designers like Lenovo, are gaining ground.
Early this month, HP said it was open to licensing webOS for use on connected TVs and other devices, if third parties can help improve the software. The company has been careful not to suggest it would adopt the looser model used by Google.
Samsung has been seeing modest growth in smartphones but has still been losing ground overall, even to smartphone-only phone makers like Apple, as its non-Android phone sales have been dropping.