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Samsung interested in Meego, report says

The Korean consumer electronics giant may be looking to purchase Meego to use as its own proprietary mobile operating system.

Samsung Electronics may be considering a purchase of the increasingly defunct smartphone operating system Meego as its own proprietary platform.

That's according to a report today from Mobiledia, which cites industry sources.

A Samsung representative declined to comment to CNET.

The platform chatter highlights the increasing dilemma that Android handset manufacturers face now that Google plans to buy Motorola Mobility and make its own smartphone. The companies that have been reliant on Google for its Android operating system must compete against it now, leading many in the industry to wonder if those handset makers wouldn't prefer to use their own software.

The report follows speculation that Samsung was interested in buying the WebOS platform from Hewlett-Packard, which it denied.

Nokia N9 smartphone
The N9 smartphone features a curved touch screen and runs the Meego operating system. Nokia

Unlike other Android supporters, Samsung already has its own proprietary software in Bada, which it has seen success with in select regions around the world. The company recently expressed support in Bada, and may very well quash the speculation over a Meego takeover just as quickly as it did the WebOS rumors.

Meego, built from a partnership between Intel and Nokia, was essentially left for dead when Nokia opted to drop investment in the platform and move to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Nokia built one Meego smartphone, which was critically praised but was little more than a one-off experiment.

If Samsung wasn't interested in WebOS, which at least had minor developer support and visibility through the Pre smartphone and TouchPad tablet, it's unclear how much use it could make out of Meego, which has garnered no interest from developers.

Mobiledia speculated that Meego could bring some valuable intellectual property, which has been increasingly important given the litigious nature of the wireless industry. Samsung is in a bitter multi-lawsuit patent fight against Apple, which has been looking to bar its smartphones and tablets from being sold in different parts of the world.

Intel, meanwhile, is likely eager to sell Meego, having spent the past two years trying to get the project off the ground with Nokia--only to see it implode.

Updated at 1:32 p.m. PT: to include a response from Samsung.