Sony buys out Ericsson's half of partnership, neither confirms nor denies the possibility of webOS
Don’t put too many eggs in this basket, but it’s worth noting anyway. Today Sony Ericsson is no more, with Sony buying out Ericsson’s half of the partnership for €1.05 billion (US$1.48 billion). What exactly Sony’s going to do with the entire cellular device enterprise under their wing, we don’t entirely know, but we do know that they’re pretty well entrenched in the Android camp, what with the specialized Android-running Experia Play “Playstation Phone”.
But could there be another OS in Sony’s mobile future? CEO Sir Howard Stringer confirmed that the move was in part to shut down the basic handset operations, which would lead us to assume they’re going to focus on Android. Ever the gentlemen, Stringer hedged his bets when prompted on other OS’s, specifically the possibility of Sony buying webOS from HP. Said Stringer: “Never say never.”
We’re not taking “Never say never” to mean that Sony’s actively pursuing webOS, but it’s an intriguing possibility. We wouldn’t be surprised if they were one of the dozen-or-so companies rumored to have expressed interest in webOS, and they certainly would make more sense than Nikon. But more sense than Amazon? It’s hard to say, both companies have made a fairly significant commitment to Android just by their actions, with Amazon going so far as to build their own Android app storefront and a tablet off the OS, while Sony’s released multiple tablets and smartphones running Android, as well as coded their Playstation emulator to work on the platform.
But considering how executives at HTC, Qualcomm, and Samsung have shot down webOS speculation, it’s worth noting that Stringer notably did not. In fact, he seems to have been rather coy about it. Software’s always been Sony’s weak point; combining the wonderful webOS software with fabulous Sony hardware… that could be a very good thing.