Will HP Revive the TouchPad?

Well, there goes that rumor.

Samsung has squashed the idea of purchasing webOS from buyer's-remorse-strickenHewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) just as it dismissed the rumor of picking up HP's PC business.

Bloomberg reports that at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, Samsung CEO Choi Gee Sung responded to questions about webOS acquisition speculation by firmly saying Sammy would "never" pursue such a deal. He went further, saying, "It's not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion."

Rather, the company will focus its efforts on developing its proprietary mobile operating system, Bada, in order to strengthen its software assets. Currently, Bada claims a 1.9% market share, larger than even Microsoft's (NAS: MSFT) Windows Phone 7 at 1.6%.

Who wants some?
If Samsung isn't buying webOS, who will? If there's one thing the market loves, it's juicy gossip. Speculation has now even turned to popular Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC or even possibly Facebook.

Wait a second, Facebook?! You might recall the talk of a Facebook phone last year. Although nothing has emerged yet, I wou ldn't be surprised if Mark Zuckerberg thought it was a good idea to jump into the smartphone business eventually. It's not impossible to imagine him going head-to-head against Apple (NAS: AAPL) iOS and Google (NAS: GOOG) Android, considering how much he admires Steve Jobs and already guns for Google.

It's alive!
HP has been sending some mixed signals about the fate of webOS and the TouchPad. The company continued to order additional units just to sell them at a loss even after officially dropping the hardware. Now a recent Reuters report even suggests that HP may resurrect the TouchPad as part of its planned spinoff of its personal systems group. Any potential stand-alone company would be led by the current personal systems group head, Todd Bradley (who's also a former Palm CEO).

Your guess is as good as mine on what the fate of webOS will be. I still think it will eventually be sold and have parts of it incorporated into another OS, because licensing prospects seem dim. What do you think? What will become of webOS? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorEvan Niuowns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Apple, and Microsoft.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Google, Microsoft, and Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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