We knew that HP was open to licensing webOS to other “special” companies if it made sense but now the company is saying that it is actively in talks with other handset makers about this.
“We are talking to a number of companies,” HP CEO Leo Apotheker said in an interview with Bloomberg. “I can share with you that a number of companies have expressed interest. We are continuing our conversations.”
We are just a few days away from the release of the HP TouchPad and this is the first major release from HP with webOS (don’t even get me started Veer fans!). It’s unclear how well this will do in the market based on the lack of success non-iPad tablets have had but it is generating some buzz. I know I can’t wait to spend some more time with the thing or with the upcoming Pre 3.
But I keep coming back to what Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has said multiple times: this is now a war of ecosystems and no matter how large HP is (one of the largest tech companies in the world), it can’t keep webOS afloat just by itself. What kind of companies could it be willing to license webOS to?
Well, HP’s Jon Rubinstein said it would be with “special” companies that were committed to advancing webOS, as opposed to just adding another platform to its portfolio to go alongside Android and Windows Phone. That leaves a lot of companies out, as most major handset makers appear committed to a platform for the near future.
Dusan had an interesting idea: Amazon and HP should team up and push webOS on Amazon’s upcoming line of tablets and smartphones. The platform is definitely good but it appears like Amazon has too much invested in its Android-based ecosystem to fully hop on board.