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Amazon Eyes HP's webOS: Report

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Amazon Eyes HP's webOS: Report

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos introduces the new Amazon tablet called the Kindle Fire on Sept. 28 in New York City. The Fire, which will be priced at $199, is an expanded version of the company?s Kindle e-reader that has 8GB of storage and WiFi. The Fire gives users access to streaming video, as well as e-books, apps and music, and has a Web browser. In addition to the Fire, Bezos introduced four new Kindles including a Kindle touch model.

Seems a shame to build an operating system only to have it killed off. So when HP decided to spike its ATouchPad tablet and shelve its webOS, it was only a matter of time before a buyer came along.

VentureBeat says that a leading candidate as a buyer is Amazon. Yup, Amazon: the same company that only yesterday announced it was offering an iPad competitor. The Kindle Fire is lighter, smaller and less expensive (with fewer functions than the iPad). 

On Amazon's home page today, a letter to visitors seems to poke at Apple's ribs:

There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.

But buying webOS could mean that Kindle -- or some version of its functionalities -- could become a phone or some other hybrid handheld device. The Fire runs on Android, but it has been severely customized. Perhaps a robust webOS could be folded in.

That would push Amazon's efforts in content delivery even further into Apple's dominance of the tablet, lean-back market.

Negotiations between the companies are advanced and serious, according to VentureBeat and its "well-placed source."

Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein is on Amazon's board, as well, so a successful deal is even more viable.

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