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HTC eyeing webOS purchase to compete with Apple's iOS

Smartphone maker HTC has publicly stated it is considering buying its own mobile operating system platform, with HP's webOS a potential option for acquisition.

Cher Wang, chairwoman of HTC, said her company is currently considering the purchase of its own mobile operating system, according to Focus Taiwan. However, she said the Taiwanese company is in no rush to make a deal.

Specifically, Wang admitted that HTC has eyed buying webOS from Hewlett-Packard, which the company may sell as it looks to focus on more profitable software and services. HP acquired webOS in an acquisition from Palm in a $1.2 billion deal in April of 2010.

"We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse," Wang reportedly said of buying webOS from HP.

The chairwoman touted her company's ability to differentiate its smartphones from competitors by implementing its own "HTC Sense" user interface. Sense has been used on HTC's Windows Mobile-based smartphones, and is also found on the company's newer Android-powered devices.

Wang also commented on Google's acquisition of Motorola for $12.5 billion, announced in August. The HTC executive said Google made the "correct" decision to buy Motorola Mobility for its patent portfolio.

HTC became a direct beneficiary of the Google-Motorola deal last week, when the Taiwanese handset maker filed a new lawsuit against Apple based on patents acquired from Google. The complaint, which is the third HTC has filed against Apple, accuses the iPhone maker of violating nine patents transferred to HTC by Google on Sept. 1. Apple first filed its own patent infringement suit against HTC in March of 2010.

HTC's interest in webOS comes after the company was forced into a patent licensing deal with Microsoft. The Redmond, Wash., software giant is rumored to receive a large $5-per-device for the use of patented inventions in a settlement that raised concerns that handsets running Google Android also face high royalty fees from Apple.

If HTC does decide to pursue a purchase of webOS, it may have to compete with rival Android handset maker Samsung, which is also rumored to be eyeing an acquisition of the smartphone software. Like HTC, Samsung is also involved in a number of patent infringement suits with Apple around the globe.