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.