The future of webOS is unclear

Hewlett Packard (HP) is reportedly being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the corporation decides whether to retain or sell its webOS software platform.

Any deal would likely generate hundreds of millions of dollars, but as  Nadia Damouni of Reuters points out, would still be significantly less than the $1.2 billion the company shelled out for Palm in 2010.

A number of technology companies have apparently expressed an interest in buying the division, which is highly coveted for its multiple mobile patents.

According to one industry source, Oracle “might be” among the most likely tech firms interested in webOS. 

Earlier reports indicated that both Samsung and HTC were eyeing the platform as a possible way of differentiating their mobile devices from the competition (Android & iOS).

As you may recall, HP’s webOS-powered TouchPad initially failed to gain any serious market traction, prompting the company to abandon the platform and sell the tablet at a $99 price point which finally kickstarted lackluster sales.

HP’s former CEO Leo Apotheker has since departed, but it is unclear what his successor Meg Whitman plans to do with the platform.