HP looking to sell webOS, Amazon looking to buy? 185
Right now we’re stuck in that vague limbo mode where HP clearly wants to do something with webOS (apart from make hardware for it), and though they might have a good idea of what they want to do, contract negotiations might be stopping them from saying it. That’s where leaks come in, and this morning VentureBeat is citing a “well-placed source” as saying that HP is looking to sell webOS and Palm, and the company closest to adding Palm to their cart is Amazon.
Of the handful of companies that have been floated as a potential purchaser of webOS, Amazon has barely been mentioned (though this morning’s report is sure to change that). It’s worth noting that former Palm CEO and current HP Personal Systems Group VP of Product Innovation Jon Rubinstein is currently on Amazon’s board, though we don’t know how much influence he would have as the newcomer to that organization.
If you’ll recall, it was just two days ago that Amazon introduced their first full-fledged tablet, the Kindle Fire. The Fire is based off of Android, but really looks and acts nothing like it. Purchasing webOS would give Amazon their own OS to build off of, but they’d be doing it without the massive application support that comes with Android (and Amazon’s own Android Appstore).
So what would Amazon bring to the table for webOS? Aside from actually being able to make hardware and having a tendency to stick it out over the long term with fledgling products, Amazon would bring multimedia content and cloud services that it HP cannot seem to match. We’ve said for a while now that content and integration is key, and the combination of a webOS account with an Amazon login (and the music, movies, television, books, magazines, and cloud storage services that would provide) could be absolutely killer.
The Amazon Kindle Fire isn’t positioned to compete with Apple’s iPad. From specs to apps to cachet, it just can’t. Amazon’s aiming for a different market with the Fire, one more angled towards consumption. But adding webOS to their portfolio could open up Amazon to being a legitimate contender – and a far more powerful and committed one than HP could ever be.
Of course, a lot of this is speculation, but we can’t help it. Amazon is possibly the most exciting opportunity for webOS, and it could very well be true the other way around.
Source: VentureBeat; Thanks to everybody that sent this in!