Samsung: We Don't Want To Buy WebOS

CEO says Samsung Electronics is committed to its own Bada platform, and that its software teams are working "harder than outside people think."

Eric Zeman, Contributor

September 2, 2011

2 Min Read

Samsung wants to be very clear on something: It would "never" attempt to acquire webOS from HP. Chief Executive Officer Choi Gee Sung said in Berlin at the IFA event this week, "It's not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion."

Choi further said that Samsung is committed to its own Bada platform, and that its software teams are working "harder than outside people think."

The future of HP's webOS platform is about as clear as a mug of Starbucks coffee. HP itself has only confirmed that it doesn't plan to make any more webOS-based smartphones and tablets. It has suggested that it may consider licensing the operating system, or perhaps even selling it. But no plans have been announced with certainty.

Earlier this week, reports pegged Samsung as the most likely candidate for a potential takeover of webOS. The reports seemingly gelled a bit with Samsung's reaction to the Google-Mototrola deal announced earlier this month.

After Google announced its plans to acquire Motorola, Samsung's executives called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. The chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Kun-hee, had a sit-down with senior staff warning that Samsung is trailing its competitors with respect to dedicated smartphone operating systems.

Lee, as quoted by Yonhap News, said that Samsung "must strengthen the competitiveness of its information technology, secure more human resources and also more actively seek mergers and acquisitions. We must pay attention to the fact that IT power is moving away from hardware companies such as Samsung to software companies."

In other words, Samsung is not thrilled by the idea of Google owning Motorola.

Samsung sells its homegrown smartphone operating system, called Bada, primarily on handsets in Samsung's home market of Korea. Samsung announced a handful of Bada-based smartphones this week. They are earmarked for markets outside the U.S. and won't be sold by U.S. carriers. In fact, Samsung has said repeatedly that Bada will never be available in the U.S., which is one of webOS's biggest markets (such as it is.)

Samsung has a strong position in the U.S. smartphone market with Google's Android platform. Just yesterday, Samsung announced a new tablet called the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and super phone called the Galaxy Note. With both Android and Bada on its plate--not to mention all the feature phone platforms it still develops (BREW, Java, etc.)--Samsung has plenty to keep itself busy.

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About the Author(s)

Eric Zeman


Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.

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