Android Out, HP webOS In? - The UpStream

Android Out, HP webOS In?

posted Sunday Jun 26, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Android Out, HP webOS In?

Are you frustrated with Android? Of course you are. It seems to be under a now constant attack from virus software, you never know what features you might be getting from the incredibly fragmented landscape and now Google has closed the OS. If you are frustrated, imagine how Samsung, HTC and Motorola feel. They are the ones constantly fighting against Google and having to try and prove to customers why their $599 Motorola Xoom is worth it compared to Velocity's $149 Micro Cruz.

When the OS is free and unregulated, these are the things that happen. This has caused the big 3 handset manufacturers to start considering abandoning the platform in favor of something else. Windows Phone 7 is certainly an option, but it has very limited hardware flexibilities and cannot be run on tablets. So, Trip Chowdry, an analyst at Global Equities Research believes that we may see them move to HP's webOS.

Will HP be willing to license? Will manufacturers want to get involved? Hit the break to find out.

HP CEO Leo Apotheker has already said they would be willing to entertain discussions from manufacturers about licensing the OS they purchased along with the rest of the Palm brand last year. This would certainly solve the tablet problem, along with the hardware limitation problem of WinPho7.

The real question is, would they switch? Jack Gold, another industry analyst, said,

While anything is possible with Samsung (they seem to do one of everything ever made), it's unlikely HP would be that anxious to license WebOS, and it's less likely that Samsung would want it without having a significant ecosystem in place to promote it (e.g., lots of apps and user demand)

Well, anyone who has been following the HP Palm saga can tell you that there are a lot of consumers aching to get webOS phones in different sizes, shapes and form factors. This could most certainly be a big boom in the industry. Gold also added that he does not think that webOS would be a total Android replacement for the market, but did acknowledge that webOS is superior to Honeycomb for tablets.

Al Hilwa, an analyst for IDC, said,

The key question for the platform owner is how to maintain a unified personality for the platform without allowing OEMs to fragment it with their own user interfaces and application frameworks. My guess is some will be willing to look at an alternative, but it is hard to get the formula right.

There is no way to know for sure what will happen here but there is a lot of possibility that these manufacturers will go looking for something new very soon and it could likely be webOS. Developers, get your apps ready.

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