HP Wants to Offload webOS, But Still Wants to Make webOS Printers

HP revealed its Q4 2011 earnings results, and the whole blogosphere is laughing at how it made a fool of itself by buying webOS (Palm) for $1.2 billion, and then wasted another ton of cash trying to wind it down.

Eventually, it may make good on its webOS investment by selling it off to some other mobile company. Rumors suggest that Palm’s patent stash is quite valuable now that the patent wars are on in the industry.

HP is currently busy finding buyers willing to take Palm’s assets, including webOS, off its hands. However, it has included a clause in the deal which requires the buyer to license webOS back to HP, for use in its printers.

HP first promised us printers powered by webOS when it acquired Palm. It may not be a big deal for any of us, but printers still account for a major portion of HP’s revenues. It made close to $6.4 billion in revenue in the last quarter, from the Imaging and Printing group.

However, its revenue was still down 10% year-on-year. Even a small boost in printer sales could mean a significant increase in HP’s topline growth.

Personally, I don’t think webOS on printers is that big a deal, after all, it’s a printer, not a smartphone or a tablet. But you never know. It definitely won’t cost HP much; the buyer of webOS may just throw it in to speed up the deal.

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