Just two months after it seemed webOS was about to meet its maker, HP has said that the platform’s planned demise is now “unfounded rumour”.
What does that mean? Well, chances are the PC giant will try and licence the operating system out.
It’s already said it’s had enough of the hardware business. But what chance does it stand in a world where manufacturers other than Apple and BlackBerry can and do already sell phones using Windows Phone and Android software?
Here’s our take on how five key mobile players should approach webOS.
Back on its own after ten years of mixed success with its Sony Ericsson partnership, the Big S would do well to diversify its platform and branch out from its current predilection for Android.
Sir Howard Stringer himself has said a tie-up or even a buyout wasn’t out of the question.
Sony’s big-hitting gadgets and toehold in the mobile market could help webOS grow. And if it’s licensed, make HP a lot of cash too.
HTC is already in deep with Google Android and, to a lesser extent, Windows Phone. Adding webOS to the mix would hardly make sense and could diversify their range too much, especially as they’re still a growing brand with a reputation for top-end devices.
They’re not the size of a Samsung or Sony, which is why a HP tie-up seems unlikely.
Sammy has the same issue as HTC, in that it also sells Android and Windows Phone devices. But, as it edges ever closer to becoming the world’s biggest mobile- maker, another platform could help it achieve success.
Load it up on cheap devices and Samsung webOS phones would surely sell well, app-support depending. The only impediment to this is the success of Bada in the Far East.
Yes, it seems outlandish. But let’s face it Research in Motion (RIM) is in such a state that it needs a Nokia/Microsoft tie-up to give itself new life.
BBX won’t be on devices for months and its failings with QNX on the PlayBook show that its software is a busted flush.
Bringing webOS on board would instantly guarantee a more workable OS, with BlackBerry’s much-loved hardware staying front and centre.
Fast-growing and desperate to be a success in Europe as well as China, ZTE has been working on ever better Android phones for some time.
A webOS licence would give its handsets something unique and could have the potential to take the brand even further.