It may sound absurd, but one Jeffries analyst, Peter Misek, has proposed in a research note that Facebook ought to purchase HP’s jettisoned WebOS platform. Misek believes that none of the other potential buyers will likely place a bid and given Facebook’s own trajectory towards media and communications, that the social network would be the best suitor.
Misek points out that many of the potential buyers for WebOS, such as Sony Ericsson, ZTE, and Huawei, are content with sourcing both Android and Windows, instead of developing or buying their own OS. Others like Samsung, Baidu, and Amazon, have already invested resources in developing their own platforms, while Nokia is committed to Microsoft and HTC has expressed interest but is in no hurry to move forward.
Facebook, on the other hand, has increasingly moved towards media with a rumored music service, and communications with its Messenger app. It also has a strong developer community and has reportedly been intersted in a mobile OS or at least heavily influencing one. Recall the many rumors of an imminent Facebook phone? However, what launched instead were phones with Facebook integration, such as the HTC ChaCha.
Additionally, Misek notes that carriers do want a third contender in the smartphone ecosystem, which is now dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Windows would seem like the logical third player, but the company has historically executed its mobile strategy poorly and concerns over Google’s Motorola purchase could leave manufacturers with no choice other than Windows should Google integrate vertically.