HP Kills TouchPad, Pre and WebOS

HP announced Thursday that it is discontinuing webOS operations specifically the TouchPad and webOS based phones like the Veer and Pre. HP had taken control of webOS a little over a year ago when the purchased Palm, Inc. for $1.2 billion.

Posted in: News, Tablets, Ultra Portables

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Julie August 18, 2011, 9:07 pm

    Wow, this is sad. Is it just me, or does it feel like they are dumping this way too soon?

  • Andy Jacobs August 18, 2011, 9:24 pm

    Didn’t seem like they even gave WebOS a chance. iOS is still my favorite mobile OS, but I’d played around with a friend’s Pre and was quite impressed with WebOS. I thought for sure HP would make it even better, and put it on some decent to great hardware. Can’t quite figure their strategy here.

  • Rob Tillotson August 18, 2011, 9:32 pm

    Well, that was quick.

    I also don’t quite get the point of giving up quite this fast, not even trying to fix the apparently issues with the Touchpad with a software update first? I guess they must feel like doing any more would be throwing good money after bad. A pity, and not the sort of end I would have preferred for Palm’s legacy. Oh well.

  • Ken Schoenberg August 18, 2011, 9:45 pm

    Like Cisco and the Flip camera, I think HP’s current leadership believes they need to be focusing on their core business (Enterprise). What’s amazing to me is that HP can just toss what must be close to $2 billion (purchase and internal costs since) into the trash.

  • Mark R. August 18, 2011, 10:21 pm

    Although I can’t put much faith in it following HP’s other actions, they did not say they were discontinuing WebOS operations, exactly. They said they were discontinuing WebOS **hardware** operations. Their WebOS global business unit VP claims they are still committed to the operating system. This suggests that they will try to license it to other hardware manufacturers or, if Google uses Motorola to fully vertically integrate Android production, HP may try to sell WebOS to another handset manufacturer. It’s hard not to view this as the end of the Palm/WebOS story, but the last chapter isn’t in ink yet.

  • Andrew Baker August 18, 2011, 10:26 pm

    This is a Shame, I wish google had purchased the product. I believe Palm (NOT HP) nailed the interface and the integration. I loved the palm pre, but the lack of apps is what killed it for me. The integration between social networks, contacts, calenders, was perfect, something I miss on the Android platform. If Google had purchased WebOS, I webOS interface on the Android core and Ultimate device IMHO.

  • Ken Schoenberg August 18, 2011, 10:37 pm

    @Mark, that’s true, but I can’t see any company picking up webOS and trying to produce another tablet or phone.

  • Jackie Cheng August 19, 2011, 1:32 am

    Funny thing is that I just got a marketing email direct from HP which advertises the TouchPad right on the top. “NEW! HP TouchPad with webOS”. They might want to reword that to “For those that didn’t hear the news…buy this NOW!”.

  • Haesslich August 19, 2011, 9:32 am

    I don’t know about you, but if I was a prospective customer of their cloud-based services or server services, I’d worry right now. If they’re willing to dump 2 billion into a project they abandon a year later, and notes after protesting it’s not a disaster, I would be cautious of moving critical services over to them. Especially since there’s no apparent EOL support.

  • tony_bostony August 19, 2011, 11:08 am

    The Best thing HP can do now (if there is such a move) is make WebOS open source, or sell it to a competitor. All HP wanted Palm for, really, was for their patent portfolio. Then again, I have no idea what I am talking ZabouT.

  • Byron August 19, 2011, 11:11 am

    What a bunch of wooses, they run the first sign of slow sales.

    Spent all that money and dumped the program.

    The PRE never even hit the market, bet there is a bunch of those sitting in a warehouse, some where

    And they are still advertising the Touchpad

    Sad case of bad corp ideas

    Apple should buy up HP and mothball the whole thing

  • Byron August 19, 2011, 11:19 am

    I ment the PRE 3 never made it to market

    I had a Touchpad for a week, really liked it

    It just would not run Java flash pages (Pogo games)
    and that’s why I got it for the wife.

    I really thought it was a contender for iPad2, in the long run.

    It just need the time and apps to develop, just like the iPad 1 did.

    To bad, really sad

  • Jason August 19, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Wow, Jeff Holloway must be (the only person in America) stunned by this news. Just a couple months ago he was talking about how Web OS was so incredible that it was going to put an end to Android.

  • Bob DeLoyd August 19, 2011, 5:05 pm

    I read that HP is getting out of the whole PC business entirely! And I just bought an HP Laptop a few months ago :(

  • Rich August 19, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Not so fast…. Please edit your article, apparently with time comes more clarity, it appears as though webOS is NOT DEAD… only the HP Hardware that it ran on….

    http://developer.palm.com/blog/2011/08/the-next-chapter-for-webos/

  • Ken Schoenberg August 19, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Rich,
    I read that blog and to me it’s sad or corporate doublespeak. Why would anyone, other than diehard fans, continue to develop products for an operating system that is no longer being installed on new hardware? By all reports less than 50,000 TouchPads were sold.
    There’s always the chance that a major hardware company could license the OS, or buy it outright, and I’d be delighted to write a resurrection article…but for now, to me, and to the vast majority of independent software vendors and retailers the plug has been pulled.
    I have another, longer piece on the TouchPad coming out. I liked it and should the price be reduced on the units I believe they would be a solid buy…but we’re talking about picking the bones.

  • Rich August 19, 2011, 9:55 pm

    Hi Ken,

    You do make a good point, and I cannot say I do not disagree about corporate doublespeak. I certainly would not say I am defending HP in any way. But I am saying that, now considering the corporate blog, it is not accurate to say HP is discontinuing webOS operations. webOS is the operating system, the software, and what they are clarifying is that they are discontinuing the hardware they manufacture to run webOS themselves. Either way, it is sad, the OS with the most potential, and a great opportunity for the consumer to have choices. This is a very sad day indeed. If you like a cookie cutter world, then Apple fans, Droid fans, Google fans, Facebook fans, rejoice… another choice is dwindling into oblivion because of BIG MONEY MARKETING.

  • Ken Schoenberg August 19, 2011, 10:14 pm

    Rich,
    We can cross our fingers and hope a white knight company comes along and snatches it up. What I expect though is that it’ll either just go away entirely or HP will sell the rights/name to some small company and it’ll kind of hang around like AmigaOS has for years.
    One of the nice things about technology…is that nothing is permanent. Think about the last 30 years and the companies that were once king who no longer exist. A couple of guys working in a college dorm room somewhere could be coming up with the technology that flips things over again.

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