With LG Buying WebOS, is BlackBerry a Better Takeover Target Than Ever Before?
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has reportedly sold the webOS operating system to Korean tech giant LG. CNET says LG will use the operating system to power upcoming smart TVs. It isn't clear what LG paid for WebOS, but it probably wasn't much -- H-P essentially abandoned webOS when it stopped producing its Touchpad tablets in late 2011.
H-P purchased Palm in April of 2010 for $1.2 billion. At the time, the intention was to use the operating system Palm had developed (webOS) to power a variety of mobile devices. Unfortunately, that strategy failed to play out as well as H-P would've hoped.
Similarities have been drawn between Palm and BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) many times in the past. Like BlackBerry, Palm's devices were rendered obsolete by a wave of new smartphone competitors. And like BlackBerry with BlackBerry 10, Palm committed itself to creating a new mobile operating system to fight back against its surging competitors.
Will BlackBerry, like Palm, be sold?
Thorsten Heins has said in the past that his company would be open to licensing its BlackBerry 10 operating system, and the Canadian tech giant hired RBC and JP Morgan back in May of 2012 to explore its “strategic options.”
Market speculation has linked both Samsung and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) to BlackBerry. With Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) acquiring Motorola, it's believed by many that Samsung may wish to get away from Google's Android operating system. Amazon, too, relies on Google's Android for its lineup of Kindle Fire tablets.
Now that the BlackBerry 10 operating system is finally here, many may have forgotten about the possibility of an outright sale of the company. But with LG buying webOS, it shows that there's still a market for alternative mobile operating systems.
Shares of BlackBerry traded higher at the open Monday, but lost its gains as the broader market sold off.
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