HP Willing to License webOS to Other Device Makers: CEO

By Beecher Tuttle June 03, 2011

Hewlett-Packard’s newly-inherited webOS platform may soon be made available to select third-party hardware partners, HP CEO Léo Apotheker suggested on Wednesday.

The webOS platform, which was picked up by HP as part of last year’s Palm acquisition, has so far been unique to homegrown devices. Apotheker told attendees at the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital conference in California that the computer giant would consider licensing the operating system to third-party device manufacturers in an effort to spur its adoption rates.

“It’s not correct to believe that it should only be on HP devices,” Apotheker told the audience. “There are all kinds of other people who want to make whatever kind of hardware they make and would like to connect them to the Internet. We’ll make it available to enterprises and to SMBs.”

In response to a hypothetical question about what he would do if HTC wanted to build a webOS-powered handset, Apotheker said he would be “open” to the conversation.

Jon Rubinstein, HP’s webOS chief and former Palm CEO, treaded a bit more lightly than Apotheker, telling an audience at Qualcomm’s Uplinq conference that, “HP is more than willing to partner with one or two special companies,” but the company “is not interested in being in the general licensing business,” according to PC World.

Apotheker’s comments come just a few months after he vowed to make better use of WebOS. He told Bloomberg in March that webOS is not just for phones, printers and tablets anymore. Come next year, HP will make the operating system available on all of its desktop and laptop computers.

HP’s desire to break into the computing OS space is a clear indication of its dissatisfaction with the platform’s success rate in the mobile phone sector. Currently, webOS accounts for just 4 percent of the smartphone market, well behind industry leaders Android, Apple and RIM, according to Nielsen Mobile Insights.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It’s also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More