The news is full of Hewlett-Packard’s recent canning of webOS, with the expectation that in the increasingly competitive and vicious mobile world its complete failure on tablets would see the end of it as a player. Microsoft are already wooing webOS developers on the expectation that the system is no longer going to be supported. However, TechCrunch speculates – via a rumour in Digitimes – that webOS may still be relevant; Samsung are rumoured to be considering buying it as well as hiring one of HP’s ex-vice presidents (apparently to work on marketing PCs, so there may be no link.)
All rumour and speculation, so take with a double pinch of salt; and of course, as with Google’s purchasing of Motorola, the purchase may be more important for the enormous patent war chest that comes with webOS than for actually using it (a mark of how litigious the smartphone world has recently become.) However, it’s an interesting development, and as TechCrunch rightly point out:
Apple has iOS. HTC has its massive supply chain. Nokia will have Windows Phone 7 Mango. And Motorola will, of course, have Android. That leaves Samsung, who is a notably strong competitor among these big five device makers, without something special to set it apart.