HP's CEO Leo Apotheker has said that he is open to allowing other manufacturers to build handsets that run webOS.

Speaking at the D9 conference, Apotheker talked about his belief in the Palm-made operating system, saying that it should be set free.

"I happen to believe that WebOS is a uniquely outstanding operating system. It's not correct to believe that it should only be on HP devices," he said.

When you love something, set it free

Apotheker went on to respond to a question about whether HP would license the OS to other companies, specifically HTC, he answered, "It is certainly something we would entertain."

Meanwhile at Qualcomm's Uplinq conference, HP's Jon Rubinstein told delegates that HP would partner with "one or two special companies" on webOS, but went on to add that HP wouldn't work with manufacturers already offering other mobile operating systems.

Apotheker as CEO certainly outranks Rubinstein as senior vice president and general manager, but since Rubinestein was CEO of Palm before HP acquired it last year, he may have more say over webOS than your average VP.

Let the will-they-won't-they webOS licensing speculation begin.

Via Reuters, cnet