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Long List of OEMs Who Might Build webOS Hardware
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Old 05/14/2012, 09:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Carrying on my point from this thread: http://forums.webosnation.com/webos-...bos-phone.html

Who do you think would be a realistic choice for the webOS community to lobby about building dedicated hardware for Open Source webOS? We want new hardware, right? Isn't that better than waiting for ports and putting webOS on a device not meant for it - one without a gesture area - hardware that is already out there and aging, hardware you might not own and would have to purchase then modify???

Even one dedicated phone, factory unlocked for GSM would get webOS back out there in the mainstream eye. One WiFi tablet more to carry on the fight.

Apple is out for obvious reasons. Please, let's not even bring them up in this thread - ain't no way, no how they would bite their own tail. I would argue Motorola is out - as they are now owned by Google and that's putting them too close to Android. Also Samsung. They are number one, and have been for some time, when it comes to sales of Android phones. Why would they push a webOS device forward?

Who does that leave?

Of those, who might realistically want to take a chance? They would have to want to take on the job of building a device which works for Open Source webOS and not violate any of the old Palm/HP patents... Or better yet have the $$$$$ to buy some of those patents up. I don't think any of the Asian clone makers would be a good choice as they might just violate the last point about patents and their strength lies with using what has already gone before.

So who do you think might be swayed by a grassroots lobbying effort and actually take on the job of producing webOS dedicated hardware? Why them? What are their strengths and weaknesses in relation to such a project.

If we come up with enough names here, I'd like to winnow it down to a short list (maybe 2 or 3 candidates) and see what we can do about getting a groundswell of support into a lobbying effort. Who knows, maybe we can make this happen.
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Old 05/14/2012, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I hadn't thought about a manufacturer selling an unlocked phone directly to the public. And now that it's mentioned I see that Nokia does it. That does seem to be a low cost way for a manufacturer to get into the market - configure webOS to their hardware, do a short production run then sell directly to the public.
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Old 05/14/2012, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If enough numbers of individual consumers make a showing for an idea... Something already proven like webOS - and the OEM wants to stand out from the iCrowd or the Android On Everything wave then they might take a look. Why would they start thinking along the lines of webOS devices if there is no visible market? If we make the built in market more apparent where is the harm? All they can say is, "No thanks."

Business is business. They want to sell. They want to differentiate themselves from the competition. They want a product people will buy. They want to be seen as leading the way. Why else did HP get into the mobile market? If you think it was just to make a fiasco of things - to ruin a platform - to hemorrhage money - to become a laughing stock example of mismanagement - I would humbly suggest that you are wrong. They wanted to appear as being in the vanguard and to leverage their way into a sustainable market share that would bring growth and profits. That is what a business does. Often that means supplying what others are not. There is nothing wrong with webOS itself, just the manner in which it was handled, yes? It's still an attractive piece of software - it just needs hardware to have a chance...

Yeah, the trades shows are an arena where they compete. If HTC or LG - or even a big player like Panasonic who makes home phones, but wants to jump into mobile in a big way by revamping their tablet concept and starting up smartphone manufacturing - if one of those companies had a webOS device at a trade show... Imagine the buzz in the press, imagine the reviewers giving hands on looks at the new phone or tablet on YouTube and on their web sites. Imagine carriers wanting to offer something different in a market where consumers are switching carrier support so frequently.

None of that will happen with porting - which is where the community seems to see itself heading. I say, why settle? Doesn't the OS deserve dedicated hardware? Are we giving up on the platform? Defeatism serves no purpose other than to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If everyone says, "No one will build webOS dedicated hardware," you can be sure that no one will

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
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Old 05/14/2012, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So getting back to the original request,

Looking at the manufacturers supplying android smart phones to AT&T, the smaller players seem to be:

HTC
Pantech
LG
Sharp

What about supplying webOS to the feature phone market? Alot of feature phones will come with some useful apps that webOS would already have. My son has a Samsung Restore, I like the phone - it's a phone with a sliding keyboard and it does email and has a few apps but the OS that comes with it stinks. If that phone ran webOS I would be comfortable getting it and saving money on a data plan.
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Old 05/14/2012, 05:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Haven't been impressed with their hardware in the past, but there is also Huawei.

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Old 05/14/2012, 06:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sony?
Nokia as a hedge?
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Old 05/14/2012, 07:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So who do you think might be swayed by a grassroots lobbying effort and actually take on the job of producing webOS dedicated hardware?
None. Companies don't make decisions to produce massively costly consumer electronics based on some "grassroots lobbying" or some sort of web petition.

If someone makes a webos phone it won't be because of that sort of effort.
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Old 05/14/2012, 07:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would recommend a chinese phone manufacturer with existing hardware who are open to installing custom os

like meizu or Xiaomi both manufacture their own phones and have now got android ICS ports.
Xiaomi-M1 is very similar hardware spec to touchpad.

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Old 05/14/2012, 08:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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None. Companies don't make decisions to produce massively costly consumer electronics based on some "grassroots lobbying" or some sort of web petition.

If someone makes a webos phone it won't be because of that sort of effort.
See, I'm not happy adopting those attitudes. They represent the self-fulfilling prophecy I was speaking of earlier. Where is your optimism and can do attitude?
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Old 05/14/2012, 11:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What about Lenovo...

Lenovo Spending $800 Million to Boost Smartphones, Tablets | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

They could extend/fork webOS into a solid business orientated smartphone OS, back to where Palm used to be. webOS would have a more clean slate than android where security is concerned.
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Old 05/14/2012, 11:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lenovo living up to HP's promise, hmmm. I'd be much more inclined towards that.

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Old 05/15/2012, 01:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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See, I'm not happy adopting those attitudes. They represent the self-fulfilling prophecy I was speaking of earlier. Where is your optimism and can do attitude?
not to be mean but it's not an issue of optimism or can do attitude. It's just a reality. That's just not how a company would decide to make products that are that costly. I mean if it was as simple as some grass roots petition there would have been a lot more apps for webos. Not to be debbie downer i just think it's so far from realistic. Just my opinion.
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Old 05/15/2012, 06:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Lenovo living up to HP's promise, hmmm. I'd be much more inclined towards that.

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And they don't suffer from the schizophrenia HP does. Lenovo quietly launched their own line of android tablets last fall and now I believe they are 3rd or 4th in android tablet sales. It's a business unit for them and they have the deep pockets to develop it.
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Old 05/15/2012, 02:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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By any chance does the community have the API's for 'touch to share'?

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Old 05/15/2012, 02:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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See, I'm not happy adopting those attitudes. They represent the self-fulfilling prophecy I was speaking of earlier. Where is your optimism and can do attitude?
That there are those who are naturally inclined to counter the tide of progress is a given. Also, in every group, you are sure to find those who are unwilling to sow or reap, yet are always eager when the time comes to eat. You'll have to accept that and move forward in spite of opposition and negativity. The best approach is to turn every knock into a boost and not allow fear or pessimism to cause paralysis.

You are correct in your assumptions when looking at the possibilities. It is important that economies of scale be kept in mind so as to have real potential in the short list. Past actions and tendencies have to be considered also. For e.g., in the eyes of HTC, LG and Samsung, the major difference today, as far as webOS goes, is the fact that the license is out of the way. As I recall, license fees were not an issue for them because at that point (after the initial sale negotiations), they weren't interested in the platform as licensees. So as major players, what is the motivation for them today? ICS is here and, while still a bit of a mess, its better than gingerbread and honeycomb. Its ecosystem is established and thriving and these OEMs were happy in the past to just play it safe, build similar hardware and compete on a silly UI overlay (Sense UI vs whatever). I dont think the approach has changed and we all know that the entrenched have a tendency to rest until they no longer have a choice. It's for these reasons - in spite of scale - that I'm suggesting we focus on the upcoming players.

At the entry level and mid range, Pantech, Meizu, Xiaomi and other smaller OEMs could really make a splash. This could be profound in emerging markets. At the high end, our area of interest, the potential is definitely there but many things, all leading to scale, will have to fall into place. For e.g., additional costs to go high end will have to be justified. There are different ways that a company does that but its all moot because we dont have their figures. My point is, it will be much more likely if an OEMs starting point for a webOS unit is the device that they have already designed and manufactured, meaning the use of Qualcomm and other parts for which there is already webOS compatibility. This minimizes development, testing and gov't certification costs. Lets say it comes down to a simple matter of adding a gesture area to one of their existing devices, then the focus shifts from one of additional cost to one of market demand. This is where the grassroots will have to show their strength and creativity.

Things are not out of reach. This can happen w/ careful planning, networking and communication. Having a big gun or two as a liaison between groups will help, so reaching out to industry movers has to be part of the plan (Phil McKinney? Josh Topolsky? The Pope? Lionel Messi?). While we're at it, we may as well prepare to think outside. I believe in putting my $$ where my mouth is (especially when I have mayo & ketchup) so at the very least, the 'grassroots' should be willing to put out - Kickstarter style - to secure some sort of commitment from an OEM. If that will cannot be demonstrated then we're just blowing hot air.
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Old 05/15/2012, 09:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Sony?
Nokia as a hedge?
Sony already have andriod phones why move from the operating system with the highest market share to something else?

Nokia already have a plan B in Maemo/Meego/Harmattan have you ever used a Nokia N9? It's very nice... better than webOS in some areas, but perhaps webOS might be better in others. It depends on what you are used to and what you want... for example, perhaps preloaded Maps and Drive software or the option of installing Firefox or Opera browser might be considered a good thing? I'm not sure what webOS has to offer Nokia that they don't already have.
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Old 05/15/2012, 11:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Plus Nokia already has/had an in-house OS with Symbian which is now open sourcing. I think they want to get in bed with Windows and become the flagship brand for WinPhone...
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Old 05/16/2012, 05:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I think they want to get in bed with Windows and become the flagship brand for WinPhone...
You think - you weren't clued in by their actions and explicit statements about the matter?

As for the rest, this thread is just more fantasy and wishful thinking.
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Old 05/16/2012, 10:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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You think - you weren't clued in by their actions and explicit statements about the matter?
Yep... supposition and intelligent extrapolation. I don't follow phone news religiously - particularly as it regards OEMs and OSs that I don't care about. *yawn*

Had I read what you obviously did I would have cited it. Perhaps you should supply us with a link to not only further your assertion, but also to help illuminate those who may not have seen your source.

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As for the rest, this thread is just more fantasy and wishful thinking.
That's what I do... I'm an author of fantasy.

Consumer driven product development is a real trend. Google is your friend in this.

And no one would force anyone to participate in trying to make this a reality - nor would they force you to buy into more product should it become available. It is obvious that some in the community have resigned themselves to a slow decay for webOS... a Pavlovian response to what has gone before. I sympathize but can not empathize. There is nothing wrong with trying to foment change in the system...

Is it a long shot? Yes.

But it is a near impossibility and will almost certainly never happen without agitation from the user base.

I'm sure most every naysayer of this idea would actually want and consider purchasing a new piece of dedicated hardware if it came out. For my part, if porting is the only future I'll move into that arena. But I'm not giving up hope at this early stage of the game.

Blackberry is failing. M$ can not count on bullying their way into the hands of mobile consumers as they have done in the PC market. They have traditionally come in a distant third in portability. Meanwhile, smart phone sales continue to rise, they comprise a greater percentage of overall phone sales. Tablet use is likewise on the increase. There really is room for an alternative OS that works for mobile use.

Why should we, as consumers (the vast majority of us in need of hardware upgrade) remain passive? Why should we accept that we can only have what the OEMs spoon feed us? Everything Apple? Nope, won't do it. WinPhone? Seriously, I don't think they need another market to dominate. Both of those alternatives come with a certain totalitarian corporate outlook that I don't like and choose not to fall prey to. Android has it's own problems - mostly stemming from chaotic over-proliferation that has fragmented objectives and bloated the OS.

People's voices represent $$$ in the minds of corporations. Show them the money. Let them hear that people want a device that has proven it works so well. Someone just may listen.

Again, all they can say is "No Thank you." It hurts no one in the community to try.

It only helps the community to make such an effort.

Say all you want, naysayers, that it is an opium dream. There are those who will not be deterred by such negativity.

A thing unattempted will never be done, very true. But saying a thing will never come to pass is NOT the same as making the attempt.. We will never know the true outcome unless the attempt is made.

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Old 05/16/2012, 10:57 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I guess the purpose of this thread is to list all of the manufacturers that can build mobile hardware. That probably isn't too difficult. What is going to be difficult is to list the manufacturers that are willing to develop the platform required to support the hardware: app store, SDK, media content, etc. Do you really think HP is going to do all of that? I don't think so. HP doesn't strike me as a company that is in the business of having other companies develop hardware while they do the platform stuff for free.

It's as if launching something like the Pre in 2013 would somehow do better than it did in 2009.
The purpose of the thread is to get the ball rolling, to take the user's pulse and see who they feel might be approachable, who might actually pull off the job. Then later to winnow that down to 2 or 3 choices to focus lobbying efforts on.

Obviously any OEM out there could build a phone or tablet for Open Source webOS. I want to help identify who just might do such a thing and do it well.

I agree there are hurdles that HP won't help with or may purposely put up obstructions to.

I don't agree that webOS is so unattractive that no company would touch it. That it is so worthless that no marketing executive, engineering manager, product development specialist could possibly see it as a means to differentiate from the competition and capture market share. I don't agree that, despite the path Palm/HP took, webOS hasn't proven itself attractive as an intuitive and powerful UI that consumers love to use once they get their hands on it.

Mobile does not need to settle into the pattern that home computing has taken, One large giant, an also ran and fragmented open source alternatives.
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