HTC may consider purchasing WebOS

Htc-hero-webos Although Samsung has fervently denied rumors that they would purchase the recently deceased WebOS, new information from Taiwan hints that the OS may be getting some love from Android and Windows Phone 7 smartphone manufacturer HTC. 

This rumor stems from a quote by HTC chairwoman Cher Wang, who has this to say about the company acquiring an OS: "We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse. We can use any OS we want. We are able to make things different from our rivals on the second or third layer of a platform. Our strength lies in understanding an OS, but it does not mean that we have to."

There are a couple key things we can take out of this. First, HTC is at least thinking about having their own OS for smartphones, but they will not buy WebOS just because they can.

As you already know, Samsung had no interest in WebOS is that they already have an in-house OS called Bada. HTC has a similar ecosystem called HTC Sense, a skin for Android and Windows Phone 7. HTC Sense allows them to differentiate from the competition on the "second or third layer," without having the burden of an entire OS.

Not only that, the availability of source code for the Android OS allows nearly as much freedom for manufacturers as an in-house OS. Still, there will always be a few advantages to an in-house OS, but at this point they don't seem to outweigh the cons of developing internally.

There is still one reason HTC may be interested in WebOS, and that is patents. WebOS was first being developed in 2008 by Palm, which means that there are likely a few patents associated with it. Whether these are for sale or not is not known, but since Google has started helping HTC out with patents, the few offered by WebOS are not likely to be sufficient reason for HTC to purchase it. 

Even though seeing WebOS on sleek HTC hardware is intriguing, I don't see HTC benefiting much from buying WebOS. Do you think they should try to keep WebOS around? 

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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