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    Rumor: Amazon eyeing purchase of HP's Palm division for webOS Kindles

    By Sam Oliver AppleInsider | Rumor: Amazon eyeing purchase of HP's Palm division for webOS Kindles

    Published: 09:38 AM EST (06:38 AM PST)

    Amazon is said to be considering a purchase of Palm, the smartphone maker now owned by Hewlett-Packard, and its webOS mobile operating system.

    If such a deal were to become a reality, it would allow Amazon to make future Kindle hardware based on its own software in webOS, rather than modifying Google's Android platform as it has done with the Kindle Fire, according to VentureBeat. The new color touchscreen Kindle Fire will go on sale this November for $199.

    The Kindle Fire runs Google Android, but the software has been heavily redesigned and rethought, leaving very little resemblance to the original Android 2.3 upon which it is built. In fact, on the official page for the Kindle Fire, there's only one reference to Android, mentioning applications available through the Amazon Appstore.

    Friday's report noted that former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, who left his position as Apple's iPod chief in 2005, joined Amazon's board of directors in late 2010. It cited a "well-placed source" as indicating that HP is looking to shed its Palm division as soon as possible, naming Amazon as the closest to purchase among a handful of prospective buyers.

    "By purchasing the remnants of Palm, Amazon would have free rein to redesign webOS to its own liking, and it would be able to further differentiate its Kindle devices from the slew of Android tablets in the market," author Devindra Hardawar wrote.

    HP bought Palm in April 2010 for $1.2 billion, promising future smartphones and tablets powered by Palm's webOS. But HP's first high-profile webOS product, the TouchPad tablet, failed to gain traction in the market against Apple's iPad, and was discontinued with inventory cleared out in a $99 fire sale.
  2. #2  
    This would be a good thing. I felt great when HP bought Palm and who would ever have thought they could have squandered it the way they did? Somehow I have the feeling that Amazon will stick with it and make much better decisions. In a way, they need WebOS and if they buy it I hope they also keep cranking out Smartphones as well as Kindles.
  3. #3  
    Oh god ... the holes in this rumor ... Amazon just unveiled a tablet they expect to sell 8 million units of. That tablet runs Android, and they have been cultivating their own Android market for several months now in preperation. People think that Amazon is going to ditch those 8 million owners to create another version of the Fire running an OS completely incompatible with the previous Fire? Having users face an upgrade path that causes them to lose all app purchases they made on their previous Fire? After spending all this time and money to craft their highly customized version of Android, which doesn't come with a huge price tag or risky investment?

    It's getting a little silly.

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