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Samsung will 'never' buy TouchPad webOS, vows CEO

Samsung will "never" buy webOS, the operating system behind discounted HP TouchPad, the company's CEO has told journalists at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

Chief exec Choi Gee Sung made the pronouncement to journalists in response to questions concerning speculation from analysts that the South Korean firm would make a bid for the troubled smartphone and tablet OS, in the wake of HP's decision to ditch development of the platform in Berlin.

Samsung already has its own also-ran OS in the form of Bada, which has trailed in the wake of the market leaders, Apple's iOS and Google's Android - in spite of Choi's assertion that the company is pushing its software capabilities "harder than people outside think".

Industry pundits including IDC had speculated that Samsung might make a move to acquire webOS after HP announced it was to ditch the platform last month. Other names pegged to make a bid include rival smartphone maker HTC and social networking giant Facebook, according to another analyst outfit, Ovum.

WebOS was a prime factor in HP's decision to buy mobile device manufacturer Palm last year for $1.2 billion. The company's subsequent decision to ditch the operating system comes in the light of poor TouchPad sales on launch - until its price was slashed - and is part of a wider restructuring of the company that could see the company sell off its personal computer business to concentrate on enterprise software and services.

Since HP embarked on a a 'firesale' of remaining TouchPad units, which in the UK was reduced to £89 for the 16GB and £115 for the 32GB model, the device has become one of the fastest-selling electronic devices on record, after the savage price cuts prompted a stampede among consumers. Such was the response, HP may even now be having a rethinq.