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skyman375

August 15th 2011 10:21 am

What does the Google purchase of Motorola mean for HP webOS?

If the other Android licensees no longer perceive that they will be treated fairly and openly by Google, will they explore other OS options?

Everyone seems to think, yes, and they say Windows Phone 7 next, but what about webOS? I'd have to think HP's licensing terms might be better, with the imperative of growing the user base. Don't Samsung, LG, and most likely HTC, have to think about it - if for no other reason than to improve their bargaining position with Microsoft?
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aaron

I think it depends on how much Google can alleviate manufacturers' concerns about competing with first-party devices.

I really like webOS, but it's clear that HP has problems with execution (just like Palm did). It's been six months since the Pre3 announcement and the product still hasn't shipped yet. That's a long time in the world of smartphones, and the device could very well be considered obsolete by the time it actually comes out. If it takes HP this long to deliver new webOS products, then they will never reach the scale they're envisioning. They would have to license the platform to others to ensure its growth.

If these other Android licensees decide to jump ship, I don't think there would be a more opportune moment for HP to step up and present webOS as a viable, differentiated option to handset manufacturers. If they don't, Microsoft gets a clear shot at becoming the third big player in smartphone OSes.
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rosjo

Well Motorola owns the patent for the cellphone patft.uspto.gov­/netacgi­/nph­-Parser­?Sect1­=PTO1­&...
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bb4u

Even though Google says Motorola will operate independently, the revenues/profits will still affect Google's bottom line. I wouldn't be surprised if Motorola becomes favored for all future Google Android releases (might be too late for Ice Cream Sandwich). Google has typically chosen one launch partner per Android release (Motorola for HoneyComb) so the next Nexus phone after the Nexus Prime already in development will likely be Motorola. On a positive note, this may mean the end of MotoBlur or whatever they call it now.

The problem with Windows Phone is that Nokia has a similar relationship as Motorola with Google.

I hope that HP given the issues they are having with the TouchPad launch and developing phones (Veer and Pre3) will consider licensing but that is uncertain at this point.
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cjtylr

I think that phone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung are going to be taking a much closer look at Windows Phone 7 and even WebOS as they realize that a lot of their business may have just diminished.

I would be surprised if Google cut off the other manufacturers completely, but it wouldn't surprise me if they are forced to remove their skins as Google transfers to having more control over their OS.
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rcornwell

I think this may be as much about patents as anything else. It is possible for other manufacturers to jump ship to WIndows Phone, but it will be a gradual process if they do.

It will be interesting to see if Google strangled its own operating system with this purchase.
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