Now, according to DigiTimes, via AllThingsD's blog, Samsung may be talking to HP about acquiring webOS.
"The latest: That Samsung is mulling a bid for webOS as a way of reducing its reliance on Google’s Android OS and competing more effectively with Apple. Samsung could conceivably pick up where HP left off, bringing the operating system not just to phones and tablets, but to PCs as well. Added bonus: the accompanying IP would likely prove helpful in the company’s patent battle with Apple."
Publicly, at least, HP has pledged to continue to develop webOS for use on the company's PCs; which they are also looking to spin off, in a move similar to the one that IBM made a few years so.
"Samsung CEO Gee-Sung Choi has struck down any such thoughts (and unlike Leo Apotheker, Choi has a firm grasp of what’s going on in his company), saying outright to reporters at the IFA conference in Berlin that Samsung would “never” pursue a purchase of webOS. Bloomberg reported that a Samsung spokesperson confirmed the statement. He went on to say that “It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion,” and that creating an OS is “harder than people outside think.”