Some anonymous sources are suggesting that Amazon is in the lead for purchasing webOS from HP. Seeing as HP’s financials are in the crapper, it’s expected that they’re looking to offload the remnants of Palm as quickly as possible, and Amazon isn’t that surprising of a candidate – even Jon Rubinstein, Palm’s old CEO, named Amazon as a good fit in an interview. If the Kindle Fire is any indication, it’s clear that Amazon wants to own as much of the user experience as possible, even if it means cutting a giant like Google out of the equation. It’s a little tricky doing that when the search giant owns Android, but if Amazon had their very own operating system, they could push their movie, TV, music, book, and whatever other retail services they have as much as they want.
Samsung has denied any interest in webOS, and are continuing to invest in their own operating system, Bada. HTC is still a potential candidate, but they’re so heavily invested in Android at this point that it’s hard to see them spending resources on anything other than the odd flirtation with Windows Phone.
Even if Amazon just licenses webOS for a one-off Kindle with snazzier software than their traditional e-ink devices, I think it would be an interesting play, and give the few Palm diehards left out there some hope. Whether or not a webOS-powered Kindle is successful would depend entirely on what Amazon does with the operating system, and if the thing was priced as attractively as their recent batch of devices.