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Device operating systems

OS Watch: HP Wants Back in Smartphone Game

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) just won't give up on its mobile ambitions. New CEO Meg Whitman says the company will ultimately have a smartphone, despite having shut down its mobile phone hardware business a year ago and making its operating system, webOS, open source. (See HP Sets webOS Free and HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz.)

Whitman tells Fox Business News that HP is working on a smartphone but knows it has to get it right this time. Her mantra is "better right than faster than we should be there."

"We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device," Whitman said.

Last month, HP revamped its webOS brand under the moniker Gram, which it plans to run as a wholly owned subsidiary focused on building devices to feature the OS. (See OS Watch: HP Unit Resurrects WebOS.)

In other mobile OS news:

  • Apple's map gap: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s latest OS, iOS 6, will go live on Sept. 19, two days before the iPhone 5 launches. The company showed off some improvements to the OS at its iPhone 5 unveiling, including its new, proprietary mapping app, maps.app, which will replace Google Maps in the new OS. TechCrunch has spent some time with the app and says it's not up to snuff yet, which makes sense given Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s head start and its experience with maps on the Web as well. (See Battle of the 3-D Mobile Maps and Apple iOS 6 Shakes Up Mobile Communications.)

  • Moto snapped with Apple's rubber band: Courtroom drama is far from over for the mobile handset makers. Google's Motorola Mobility is being ordered to recall all the Android tablets and smartphones it has shipped in Germany that infringe on Apple's "rubber band" scrolling patent that releases documents back to the center of the phone's screen after a user drags them away. The patent was one of the key ones in question in Apple's trial against Samsung Corp. in the U.S. as well. Moto is expected to appeal the ruling. (See Jury: Apple Guilty, But Samsung Much Guiltier andApple vs. Samsung: LTE & the Damage Done.)

  • Google's halfway to 1 billion: Patent woes aren't slowing Android down though. Google said this week that Android has passed the 500 million devices activated globally landmark at a rate of 1.3 million added every single day, Google's Hugo Barra announced via Google+. At this growth rate, the company is on track to hit 1 billion by the end of the 2013.

  • Samsung hits a high note: Samsung's latest smartphone-cum-tablet, the Android-based Galaxy Note II, could double the sales of its predecessor. The South Korean company's mobile chief JK Shin told reporters on Friday that sales could top 20 million. The original device, which reached 10 million in sales, just recently went on sale in the U.S. with T-Mobile US Inc. . But Shin said the follow-up version will launch sometime in October. (See Sprint & Verizon: This Note's Not for You (Yet).)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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