HP’s webOS May be Up for Sale

| Rumor

Rumors that HP may be ready to sell off webOS are back, and this time Oracle is hinted at as a possible buyer. Anonymous sources claim HP is working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to determine whether or not it makes sense to sell off the mobile operating system.

webOS may be on the auction blockAccording to Reuters, several companies are interested in snapping up webOS for the patents that come with the deal, including Oracle.

This isn’t the first report to surface claiming HP is looking to offload webOS. Amazon was rumored to be negotiating with HP in September, along with other unnamed companies.

After buying Palm and its assets, including webOS, HP unveiled its TouchPad tablet in February, 2011, touting it as a serious competitor to Apple’s iPad. The tablet offered features that made it an enticing alternative to the first generation iPad, and its webOS looked to be a viable competitor to Apple’s iOS.

HP bought the ailing Palm with plans to make a big move into the tablet space Apple currently dominates with the iPad. Months after announcing its own tablet, however, HP released the TouchPad to bad reviews and disinterested customers. The company killed the device after only 49 days on the market, and pulled the plug on webOS, too.

HP hasn’t commented on the latest webOS sale rumors.

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Ah WebOS.
Destined to be this decades BeOS or OS/2.


I talked to a friend of mine about a month back.  She’s a patent attorney.  Apple could do well to buy WebOS for all the patents and other IP.  If not, Google would and then watch out.

Scott B in DC

If I had the money, I would buy WebOS. Forget the “problems” that HP caused by the early release, there’s a lot about WebOS to like. It is an interesting platforms that needs a vision and someone with the vision to tighten the code and clean up the interface. Then, it could be sold to device makers. It would be more consistent than Android, have a better interface, and be more forgiving to the user.

In fact, it could be used to make touch screen interfaces for other applications. A developer friend who is familiar with the WebOS thinks that there’s a lot of potential to fill a low-cost niche market that the iPad won’t fill and the manufacturers who make Android tablets are to stubborn to fill. Too bad I don’t have the money!!

(Any VCs looking for someone with the vision, contact me!)

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