Samsung CEO dismisses idea of buying webOS from HP

Samsung would "never" buy Hewlett-Packard's webOS platform, Samsung's CEO said, throwing cold water on speculation that the South Korean handset maker is looking to broaden its mobile platform portfolio.

Samsung CEO Choi Gee Sung made the comment to reporters in Berlin at the IFA consumer electronics show. "It's not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion," Choi said, according to Bloomberg. Samsung, he said, is working to boost its software capabilities "harder than people outside think."

The comments come days after DigiTimes published a report that said Samsung was mulling a bid to purchase webOS. HP dropped support last month for its webOS device business, but said it is open to licensing or selling the platform. Bloomberg has reported that Samsung held talks with HP about that possibility.

Interestingly, Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee started pushing top Samsung executives to explore how the company can boost its software prowess, possibly through an acquisition, in the wake of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) last month, according to South Korean media reports.

At the IFA show this week, Samsung unveiled several new devices running Google's Android platform, as well as new smartphones running its own bada operating system. Samsung, long known for its hardware prowess, was the second largest smartphone maker in the world in the second quarter after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), according to research firm Strategy Analytics. 

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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