Amazon reportedly in negotiations with HP to purchase webOS

“A well-placed source tells us that HP is currently looking to rid itself of Palm as soon as possible, and that Amazon is the closest to finalizing the deal, among a handful of contenders,” Devindra Hardawar reports for VentureBeat.

“It’s worth noting that former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, who now holds a vague ‘product innovation’ role at HP’s Personal Services Group, joined Amazon’s board late last year,” Hardawar reports. “The Kindle Fire is powered by Android, but it’s been heavily customized by Amazon to the point where you can barely tell. By purchasing the remnants of Palm, Amazon would have free rein to redesign webOS to its own liking, and it would be able to further differentiate its Kindle devices from the slew of Android tablets in the market.”

Hardawar reports, “HP paid $1.2 billion for Palm in 2010, but Amazon will end up spending a fraction of that if the deal goes through. Given just how badly the TouchPad failed, HP will likely offer what’s left of Palm at a major discount, especially since Amazon woudn’t be interested in resuscitating now extinct webOS hardware.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That little redheaded stepchild of a mobile OS is going to get whiplash from being shuffled between foster homes. At least Amazon would be quite a bit less dysfunctional than the last two nightmares.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GetMeOnTop” for the heads up.]


  1. Amazon would be a perfect home and much better match for WebOS to develop from. Personally I wish Android and its fragmented cursed universe would just die an ignominious death. It has done nothing but cause trouble in it’s wake.

      1. Good point. That’s why next week’s Press Event will be all about iPhone… iPod touch and iPad have ZERO competition.

        (yes, I still have my fingers crossed for surprises. I know the iPod touch will get a very minor update, and there are rumors about MacBook Pro updates to come later this year).

        1. I totally disagree. The iPhone and iPad had no competition at all when they first appeared, and have hardly any real competition even now. Apple will keep pushing the forward not because there are competitors breathing down their neck, but because that’s what Steve Jobs and Apple are all about. This is what distinguishes Apple from almost every other high-tech company.

      2. yea because Apple needed competition to create the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad..

        get your head out of your ass…

        Apple creates a market and dominates it… the rest start the copiers and throw their mismanaged hardware/software combinations that are low-margin, low-interest devices that are the anti-apple devices…. How’s that working for those guys?

        If you can see this trend that has been developing for 15 years, then it’s pointless to try to explain why Apple needs no competition. Apple does not rest of their laurels, like the rest of the me-too device makers.

        If it wasnt for apple’s iPhone, I can only imagine the sorry ass smartphones and even more restrictive phone plans that the world would be suffering thru. Sorry the would-be competition has had their chance, a long 25 year chance to deliver a dependable product(s). Now Apple is eatiing their lunch, good riddance.

        And if windows 7 is the best microsoft can do, then I am going to continue to watch my apple shares climbing to the zenith. Google is corporate thief, do no harm. my ass. Google will have to completely rewrite their OS from scratch.

  2. That would be a smart move, I think. Amazon’s version of Android looks nothing like Android, so they might as well cut ALL ties to Android (or they may be paying royalties to Microsoft and/or Oracle).

  3. you must be kidding. asking a retailer, a middleman who wants to parlay this slate to sell more of its retail hawkings, to become an OS developer, is like asking a purveyor of search results to manage an…oh, well, never mind.

    1. dan, I agree 100%. What makes Amazon some kind of expert? The Kindle which is just a simple pdf reader? Well, of course if they bring that genius Rubenstein over I am sure he will fix it. They do say that the third time is the charm. Yep, perfect fit alright. Folks, remember Amazon makes about 2% net profit and have a PE of about 100. They are like a grocery store when it come to margins. I do not think they have the luxury of another razor/blade type operation.

      1. You guys are missing the point. First, what would any iOS device be without iTunes? Second, what would iTunes be without content?

        Amazon is in a great position to develop a real eco-system of their own because they already have tons of content and more than Apple in certain categories.

        Hopefully, Amazon becomes an honest competitor and not like the other obvious jerks.

  4. Unfortunately for webOS, there really aren’t many truly good options for a new home. Amazon is a warehousing/services/content provider; Samsung only knows how to copy, not create; HTC probably doesn’t have the ability to move quickly and get the job done; and RIM is fully committed (good or bad) to its new OS, whenever that may be considered “done”.

    webOS is probably the best alternative out there, better than Android because it doesn’t suffer from the fragmentation and other shortcomings. But it will probably die off quietly, either morphed into an Amazon content delivery system or used and abused by a Korean smartphone assembler, basically dying on the vine with either no improvements or poorly executed ones being imposed.

  5. I know, lets pin our hopes on a twice failed OS that the public kind of yawned at. That said, Amazon might be able to work.

    If not, there’s always the BeOS. 😉

  6. Open letter from the Amazon front page referring to their tablets,

    “There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. . . We are firmly in the second camp.”

    “We are building premium products and offering them at non-premium prices.”

    Amazon REALY trying hard to put down Apple and the iPad without bitting the hand that feeds them – too hard.

    1. History will repeat itself. The race to the bottom has not been kind to Dell and the wintel box assemblers. Amazon is not a good student of history.

      Buying WebOS will further dilute, or grow their engineering dept, increasing cost, diminishing returns. Can you imagine WalMart trying to manage/develop two operating systems and designing and building their own hardware to run them?

      Doesn’t really strike me as a recipe for success.

  7. another play by amazon and their distinguished friends in WS.

    Utter baloney. Bezos is too smart to pay anything for a web OS. This is just a game to prop up amzn stock. Already the BS on the 7 incher fire has worn off. So today they start with a bogus 10 inch fire on it’s way before Christmas. Then for double measure a hogwash of a story about webos.

    1. Bezos is smart? Did you watch him trying to channel Steve Jobs in the Fire demo? If he is smart he would have had someone…anyone…else do the presentation. What a doofus.

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