If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

Summary: If HP spins off its PC group along with the webOS bunch, phone maker HTC would be a great fit to pick up the phone/tablet business.

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This week may go down as the strangest week in tech given the big news that has bombarded us. The Google/Motorola merger got things off to a big start, and today the news that HP is making a $10 billion acquisition of its own has tongues wagging. The HP deal is rumored to be accompanied by the company spinning off its Personal Systems Group, which contains its huge PC business, to form a separate company. That would only be done to sell it off, which completely changes the personal computer landscape. It may change the mobile space too as most likely the spinoff would include HP's nascent webOS business.

We should have more information from HP about this big news later today as the company is making its financial statements public. Something this big must be disclosed so we'll check the details to stay on top of it.

If HP does spin off both the PC and the phone/tablet businesses, it will be interesting to see who picks them up. On the webOS front, it would be a quietly brilliant move for Taiwan company HTC to grab it and turn it into a giant in-house platform.

HTC is one of the biggest mobile device makers in the world, and should be feeling a bit uneasy given Google's impending purchase of Motorola Mobility. That would put Google firmly in competition with HTC while controlling the platform that has fueled HTC's amazing growth. That could all change in an instance if Google/Motorola sees fit, and HTC would be wise to protect its long-term interests. The only way to really do that is to control the OS it uses on its hardware.

Picking up webOS wouldn't be cheap but HTC has recently paid $300 million just to get Beats Audio technology. A whole platform and the infrastructure to maintain it would be worth some serious bucks to HTC. The company is respected as a good hardware company, the addition of webOS could slingshot HTC into the major leagues of mobile.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Hardware, HTC, Mobile OS, Operating Systems

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  • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

    James, <br>Normally I agree with a lot of what you say, but I gotta ask:<br>webOS has failed under 2 different companies, what makes HTC so different?<br>As a hardware mftr, HTC is solid. But other than some top layer development for branded OS's, they have no experience with OS ownership or development. This is HP's problem, IMO. And even though webOS has a following, there is nothing about it that screams "Gotta have it". HP needs to sell webOS (just the code and development) to someone that can incorporate its technology into their products to enhance. It is simply not strong enough to stand on its own merit.
    reklissrick
    • Theoretically, HTC might want to have its own OS, so if HP will sell WebOS

      @reklissrick: ... dirty cheap, why not to buy it?

      No sense for HTC to buy dead OS for any significant money, but for almost for free, why not?

      The only problem with this scenario is that companies like HP sometimes do not tend to sell IP for dead projects (like Cisco, for example, killed Flip). HP said they want to shed off PC business, but WebOS business is dead since outright now.

      If HP wanted to sell WebOS IP, then they would say it. But no, they did not; this means that WebOS is dead within HP.
      DDERSSS
      • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

        @DeRSSS
        I agree that HP will most likely pull an "Old Yeller" on webOS. That's what probably needs to happen. But I don't think ANY primary mobile mftr will pick it up, especially if they have to dig through HP's trash bin to get it.
        HP will realize that they can't use it at all, and either kill it completely or try to find a buyer that can truly capitalize on the acquisition. I just don't see that buyer being a mobile company.
        reklissrick
      • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

        @DeRSSS "No sense for HTC to buy dead OS for any significant money, but for almost for free, why not?"

        Ummmm... because it's a whole bunch of people and resources HTC doesn't need, that's why not. The purchase price might be cheap (though probably not as cheap as you might think, knowing HP) but that's only half the story. Along with that would come salaries, R&D costs, any pending legal fees, etc... making it not a smart move if HTC doesn't need it in the first place.

        Plus, the name of the game right now is patent and IP protection. Near as I can tell, webOS has nothing of value in that arena. Thus, HTC would have no interest (and rightly so).
        csteinola
  • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

    HTC should focus on making its Android phones better to compete with Samsung, rather waste its energy with WebOS
    DG1970
    • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

      @DG1970 Completely agree!
      fpineda101
  • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

    Isn't it possible that if HTC based all of their phones on webOS that they would end up being the next Palm? If it wasn't successful with HP or Palm why would it be successful with another company?

    Perhaps its time to take webOS out behind the woodshed and put it down!
    Fan_of_Tech
    • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

      @Fan_of_Tech
      Do you honestly think either company did a good job with Palm? Palm itself was years behind the competition. HP never even made an honest effort. HTC could at least take webOS and throw it on any of their big slates and it'd already be a better phone than ever past and current webOS device combined. Along with their solid marketing, reputation and the small percentage of people that still drink the webOS kool-aid, they could actually make a dent. Having left the webOS camp a bit ago (but holding on to my Pre) I've joined the android camp, and have also been toying with WP. I don't see the allure of WP at all. So put webOS on some solid hardware, pay devs to write some of the core apps they need to woo certain customers, and people would come back. I'd go back to webOS if the hardware were solid, and I could edit office docs. The latter was the main reason I left webOS. It is more slick and polished than android, more customizable than WP, and multitasks better than any mobile OS. It would be a shame to see it go the way of betamax and hddvd.
      crogs
      • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

        @crogs "Palm itself was years behind the competition."

        But that's the thing. If HTC (or any other manufacturer, for that matter) were to buy webOS, they'd have to begin to throw a whole lotta resources at it (almost immediately, lest it fade completely into non-existence), meaning they would spend less in other areas. Hardware R&D would suffer, QA would probably suffer. Thus, HTC would end up "years behind the competition" just like Palm (and arguably, now, HP).
        csteinola
  • It is announced that WebOS is officially dead

    So, this is the result. HP used typical for such cases phrasing they will "explore" possible opportunities to use WebOS software some way some where some time in the future.
    DDERSSS
    • I agree with you

      @DeRSSS
      RIM will be next. Android will always have a presence on ultra cheap devices made by companies that will have to shut down every few months to avoid Apple's patent lawsuits.

      Soon, there will be only one (iOS).

      We all lose.
      toddybottom
      • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

        @toddybottom Have you been sleeping? Did you just miss the 24,000 Mobile Patents that Google Bought? I don't know if you realize it but, that is one of the largest portfolios of Mobile Patents on the Market!

        All this means Android isn't dead there Chicken Little!
        slickjim
      • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

        @toddybottom rofl if you think ios will prevail your as ignorant as thus come. Ios is on a decline. It's not as good as android and apple is a terrible company. They can only screw people over so many times with bad and untested unfinished products that they see charging premiums for before people just go elsewhere.
        Jimster480
  • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

    It is a fairly good OS, but no better than others. If they could get it on the cheap, they should definitely go for it.
    hayneiii@...
  • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

    It is sad to see webOS devices go. It was a very nice OS, but to play in the cell phone game these days takes a lot of money and a long commitment, and those are two things investors hate.
    Shmythey
    • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

      @Shmythey That's exactly what I have been saying. Today a lot of conversations I have had have turned around people complaining about how poor things are in a number of areas and every time the conclusion has been that things have been so poor because the people making the decisions have to answer to greedy shareholders. Overwhelmingly this seems to be causing the consumer to get a raw deal in the west.
      DarthCyclist
  • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

    I understand that articles like this comes from a wish to preserve WebOS, and a wish to see it succeed. But isn't it a bit insincere to dress this up as a "great fit for HTC"?
    I mean, the OS has been in the market twice, under two separate companies, and it has failed twice. Considering how competitive this market really is, I think HTC should stick with what sells.
    Theli
    • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

      @Theli The phone hardware from Palm has never been good like HTC's. The s/w is decent on both phones and tablets however.
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

        @JamesKendrick A friend of mine bought the Pre on launch day and came in telling me how cool it was... Then, it took him 3 days to figure out how to close a program (that is not intuitive)!

        I told him it was a failure then and he should go with Android... Within a year he moved the Android and won't even consider a WebOS based Device anymore.

        Reality is that WebOS was supposed to be great but the average Joe saw it as little more than subpar and it didn't sell in either company that owned it.

        Think about this, Verizon was giving away free Mobile Spot Access with every Pre and Pixie they sold! The kicker is, they still couldn't sell them and before long even the hardware was outdated.
        slickjim
      • RE: If HP spins off webOS group, HTC should buy it

        @JamesKendrick Is that really so? I'd say webOS has a beautiful if not always 100 % intuitive UI, it's inherently slow and battery-hogging, lacking in APIs, SDK and a thousand little user-side features. It also has a weak ecosystem and even less carrier support now under HP than under Palm. The list of challenges is daunting.
        abugida