Is a Kindle Phone the reason Amazon may buy webOS?

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windows-phone-kindle.jpgIt’s turning into quite a busy week for Amazon. Not content with just launching a slew of new Kindle eReaders and their first tablet device in the shape of the Kindle Fire Android-based slate, they’re now rumoured to be in the market for HP’s flailing webOS platform.

According to VentureBeat:

“A well-placed source tells us that HP is currently looking to rid itself of Palm as soon as possible, and that Amazon is the closest to finalizing the deal, among a handful of contenders.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Amazon and webOS have been linked. HP’s Jon Rubinstein told This Is My Next back in July that “…Amazon would certainly make a great partner, because they have a lot of characteristics that would help them expand the WebOS ecosystem.” It’s worth remembering that Rubenstein is part of Amazon’s board too, adding further fuel to the fire.

It’s an interesting prospect. Certainly it would free Amazon up from Android licensing issues in the future, which has lead some to even speculate that Amazon may be considering entering into the smartphone arena with a Kindle Phone.

Still, it all seems a little lacking. Why bother with the drastic re-skinning of Android for the Fire if you’ve got webOS on your shopping list? Why buy a failed OS when you’ve just launched a product on Google’s successful one, within which you’ve invested heavily in your own Amazon Android App Store? If a Kindle Phone were any more than a pie-in-the-sky rumour, surely tying it to a twice-failed OS would be making it destined to fail?

For every reason for Amazon to buy webOS, there seems to be two more not to.

Gerald Lynch

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