Samsung CEO Choi Gee Sung said his company will never buy the webOS division from HP, according to a Bloomberg report. Speaking at IFA, Sung said "It's not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion," while at the same time insisting that Samsung is working harder than ever on its own OS - Bada.
This comment seems designed to put an end to speculation that had positioned Samsung as the most likely acquirer of the mobile platform HP is abandoning. Previous denials that Samsung was interested in buying HP's PC division seemed to leave the door open for a webOS deal, but now that seems unlikely.
At a recent event hosted by Global Foundries in Silicon Valley we spoke to a number of industry insiders about the HP situation. The general consensus from analysts was that HP had completely mismanaged the communications of its plans - if that's the right word to use. We also spoke to ARM EVP Simon Segars on the matter, and he said "The tablet market is the new big thing; maybe HP is making a bold, early decision."
Furthermore HP partners and customers seem to have been made nervous by the sudden announcement that HP wants to get out of the consumer computing market. The WSJ spoke to a number of potential HP customers who said they're putting potential purchases on hold while HP gets its house in order.
That opens up the matter of who will by webOS once more. People we spoke to on our trip were also sceptical about the prospect of Intel combining webOS with MeeGo, with the chip giant struggling to maintain any momentum for the latter. We reckon LG remains a decent outside bet, while a number of companies would be interested in the webOS patents.
Meanwhile the competitive environment HP has decided is too much like hard work continues to evolve. Among the many new tablets launched in the past few days is a cheap and cheerful one from Lenovo, called the A1.
There have been no formal announcements from the company yet but the former Engadgeteers at The Verge had a butcher's. The A1 is a seven inch tablet running Android 2.3 and a 1GHz Cortex A8 SoC. This relatively humble spec has enabled Lenovo to start the A1 at $199, which may well appeal to money-conscious tablet punters. Right now it's not being made available in the UK, however.
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