HP TouchPad

HP contends that one of the strengths of the webOS platform is that the company controls both the hardware and the software, allowing HP to tightly control the user experience of the TouchPad tablet and webOS phones, much the way Apple does with its iOS devices. But that doesn’t mean HP isn’t willing to license the operating system to other companies that want to use it.

Earlier this month the company’s CEO confirmed that HP might be open to licensing the OS, and today Bloomberg reports that HP is already “talking to a number of companies.” One of those companies may be Samsung, which has launched a number of smartphones and tablets running Google Android in recent years.

This Is My Next reports that HP isn’t necessarily going to license the software to every company that asks. Instead, HP is apparently looking for phone makers that are looking to prioritize webOS over other platforms, possibly even helping to develop the software further.

On the one hand, if Samsung, HTC, or another device maker launches a webOS handset, it would mean that HP wouldn’t have quite as much control over the user experience. On the other hand, the more phones that are running the software, the more attractive the platform may become for users and for third party developers.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...