HP considering sale of webOS to 'several' companies including Oracle

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
PC maker HP is said to still be considering the sale of its webOS mobile operating system, though any deal is expected to be less than the $1.2 billion it originally paid to acquire the platform from Palm.



Citing four anonymous sources, Reuters has said that HP is evaluating the sale of webOS for a price that could fetch hundreds of millions of dollars. While "several" companies are said to have expressed interest, Oracle Corp is said to be among the most likely buyers.



The report said that HP is being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch as it weighs the pros and cons of keeping webOS or selling off the software. Neither HP or Bank of America would comment.



HP bought Palm in April of 2010 for $1.2 billion, an investment made largely to acquire the webOS platform that powers smartphones like the Palm Pre. The webOS mobile operating system was then updated to run on tablets, as HP hoped to compete with Apple's highly successful iPad.



But HP's first and only webOS-based tablet device, the TouchPad, failed to gain any traction in the market, and the PC maker opted to abandon the device, clearing out inventory with a $99 fire sale.



Since then, HP fired its CEO Leo Apotheker and brought in a new chief executive, Meg Whitman, who opted to reverse a decision by Apotheker and keep the company's PC business. However, Whitman did not change course on webOS, leaving the future of the mobile operating system in an uncertain state.







Since HP decided to ax future webOS-based hardware, a number of potential buyers have been rumored, though a deal has not yet been made. Among those who were said to be considering a bid were Samsung and HTC, two of Apple's biggest competitors in the smartphone market.



Both Samsung and HTC primarily build Android-based smartphones to compete with Apple's iPhone. But owning their own platform like webOS would allow either company to further differentiate themselves from other Android-powered devices, and to offer an integrated hardware-software solution that resembles Apple's strategy with iOS and Mac OS X.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    Hey, Oracle, don't take the bait. You just do your thing with Android and get that taken care of.



    Then you can spend money on the 1985 Yugo of mobile operating systems if you want.
  • Reply 2 of 28
    Apple should just buy it.. For the patents and to keep it off competitors hands. Even take features from webOS and add it to iOS.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    Apple should just buy it.. For the patents and to keep it off competitors hands. Even take features from webOS and add it to iOS.



    I second that. There are some good features in Web OS, the patents alone should be worth the cash to Apple.



    It's not like they can't afford it!
  • Reply 4 of 28
    Oracle? Would Larry Ellison compete with Apple?
  • Reply 5 of 28
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


    Oracle? Would Larry Ellison compete with Apple?



    Maybe they'll do it for the patents to kill Android
  • Reply 6 of 28
    Meg Whitman is keeping the mature PC business and selling off assets in the exponentially growing mobile space. Is that the decision of a visionary?
  • Reply 7 of 28
    Depreciation is a bitch. As soon as you take an OS home it's worth less than you paid for it.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


    Oracle? Would Larry Ellison compete with Apple?



    That is an interesting question. He and Jobs were BFFs. But don't forget these are just rumors.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    Maybe they'll do it for the patents to kill Android



    If the WebOS patents are so powerful, it is interesting that HP (or Palm, previously) has not used them to target anyone.
  • Reply 9 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


    Meg Whitman is keeping the mature PC business and selling off assets in the exponentially growing mobile space. Is that the decision of a visionary?



    No.



    ..
  • Reply 10 of 28
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Hey, Oracle, don't take the bait. You just do your thing with Android and get that taken care of.



    Then you can spend money on the 1985 Yugo of mobile operating systems if you want.



    That's not at all fair. We have a TouchPad and it's not bad. In fact, it's quite promising - I like the way it works better than Android. It's more fluid and intuitive.



    Granted, app availability stinks, but the system itself works great. It could actually be a good purchase for someone. I could see RIM buying it.
  • Reply 11 of 28
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    [duplicate]
  • Reply 12 of 28
    I could see Oracle buying WebOS for the patent portfolio. It could help Larry in his battle against Google. Apple, on the other hand, has nothing to benefit from purchasing the IP to WebOS. They've already got an industry-leading smartphone and tablet OS and have hired away many of the most talented WebOS programmers. If HP were smart, they'd force Oracle and Google into a bidding war and drive the sales price as high as possible...
  • Reply 13 of 28
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    We have a TouchPad and it's not bad. In fact, it's quite promising - I like the way it works better than Android. It's more fluid and intuitive.



    Granted, app availability stinks, but the system itself works great. It could actually be a good purchase for someone. I could see RIM buying it.



    I agree with everything you stated except what I bolded. I am not aware of any plans to keep the OS updated on the TouchPad or to further the TouchPad line.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 231member
    Can Apple even buy it? I mean they can afford it, but I wonder if the DOJ would get involved.



    I know Google, Samsung, and HTC would push the DOJ to block an acquisition.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    Apple should just buy it.. For the patents and to keep it off competitors hands. Even take features from webOS and add it to iOS.



  • Reply 15 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    I could see RIM buying it.



    I can see that only because it follows the pattern.



    Palm develops it, they go bankrupt and get bought.



    HP develops it, their company gets torn apart and they consider even discontinuing their computers.



    RIM?



    Anyway, RIM's on the downward spiral right now, so they might not be in the buying anything game for a while.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    Apple will benefit if the buy WebOS now that's a big if.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I agree with everything you stated except what I bolded. I am not aware of any plans to keep the OS updated on the TouchPad or to further the TouchPad line.



    Really? Cause we got an update to the OS a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, someone is still updating and providing new apps as well. As far as new TP's. Yeah, what we have is all we're gonna get.



    And the TP has one thing in particular i really like and that is the use of cards. It is very Apple like and intuitive to swipe and click cards for moving in between apps.
  • Reply 18 of 28
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member
    Worthless OS.



    A small minority of people keep mumbling about how much potential it has. The thing is, people have been saying that for years and it's had it's chance, more than once, and it has failed. The best thing to do is kill it completely. I am tired about reading about WebOS.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Worthless OS.



    Have you tried it? Or are you talking about something that you have no clue about? I think it's the later. I own several ipads and a TP. The OS is far from worthless on the TP. Only reason i don't use my TP more is a lack of apps.
  • Reply 20 of 28
    Seems unlikely to me that HP would sell WebOS to Oracle.
Sign In or Register to comment.