HP is killing off its webOS hardware division, which means pretty soon there will be no more HP TouchPad, Pre or Veer devices. But the company still has high hopes fro the webOS software. HP may still install webOS on future PCs, printers, and other devices, and the company has been seeking a partner willing to license webOS for their own phones or tablets.
Clearly that partner isn’t going to be Motorola. That company has been building Google Android-only devices for a few years and recently Google announced plans to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion.
Nokia, meanwhile, has struck a deal with Microsoft that will bring Windows Phone 7 to future Nokia smartphones.
Among the big phone players that leaves HTC and Samsung… but now it looks like we can probably scratch Samsung off the list as well. There’s been a rumor floating around that Samsung could flat out buy the webOS operating system from HP, but speaking at the IFA trade show in Berlin, Samsung CEO Choi Gee Sung poured cold water on that idea.
He didn’t explicitly rule out licensing the software, but it doesn’t seem all that likely since Samsung already has its own Bada OS and also makes some of the most popular Android smartphones. On the other hand, Samsung also makes Windows Phone 7 devices… so maybe the company could license webOS as well just to cover all the bases.
HP hasn’t struck out just yet though. Aside from HTC, other companies that could conceivably license webOS could include LG, Acer, and Asus, or virtually any company looking to put out a tablet that’s a little different from all the Android tablets that have flooded the market in recent months.