During today's D9 Conference, HP CEO Leo Apotheker revealed that the company had ambitious plans for its webOS platform. The company acquired webOS when it purchased Palm as part of its strategy to step into the mobile phones and tablets arena, but it sees itself partnering beyond the mobile space for distributing its webOS and is "open" to third-party phone makers.
“WebOS will be more than just running inside or on top a particular piece of hardware that HP would make,” said Apotheker. He was then asked whether they could be open to licensing webOS to rival manufacturers such as HTC, should they come along and decide to build a webOS-based device. To that inquiry, Apotheker answered, “That is certainly something we would entertain."
But beyond smartphones and tablets, HP sees its webOS being used in a wide range of applications that could see licensing from appliance-makers to enterprise companies and small businesses. The company did recently demo the TouchPad in use with controlling home appliances. However, Apotheker did not reveal if there were already any deals in place.