Unless he misunderstood the question, it seems like HP’s CEO Leo Apotheker is open to licensing his company’s mobile software, webOS, to companies like HTC.
His statements were made during the All Things D 9 conference today and seemed to infer a willingness to possibly expand the reach of webOS beyond HP-made devices. Here is how he answered Walt Mossberg’s questions:
Q: You might license to webOS. That puts you in direct competition with Microsoft?
Léo: I happen to believe that webOS is a uniquely outstanding operating system. It’s not correct to believe that it should only be on HP devices. There are all kinds of other people who want to make whatever kind of hardware they make and would like to connect them to the Internet. We’ll make it available to enterprises and to SMBs. It will run on lots of HP devices.
Q: Would you license it to HTC?
Léo: It is certainly something we would entertain.
So what this could mean is that somewhere down the road, we might see Motorola, HTC or Samsung made devices running HP’s webOS software. For a lot of people, that is a match made in heaven. Of course, there is no telling how far away we are from any sort of discussion but the fact that HP seems willing to do this is an amazing step.
How many of you out there would snag an HTC-made webOS device? There have to be more than a few of you.