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HP Dumping Tablet and Phone Products, webOS on Hold

Just over a year after HP purchased Palm for its seemingly-tasty webOS software (for $1.2 billion, no less), the company has suddenly decided to put the operating system on hold altogether. The announcement isn't quite official, but the company clearly stated its intentions in a Thursday press release, that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones.

"In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward," the company said.

The news arrives after reports of HP launching the 64 GB version of its white Wi-Fi TouchPad tablet only in Europe. The device features a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor (APQ8060), HP's webOS 3.0, a 1.3MP camera, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 802.11b/g/n and more. The Pre 3 smartphone also went on sale in Europe just one day prior, and still hasn't reached the North American market as of this writing.

HP originally began its journey with Palm and webOS on April 28, 2010. Since then, HP made webOS out to be the next big operating system after quickly killing off webOS' creator, Palm, in February 2011. By March, HP boasted that its new OS would be on every PC shipping in 2012, and even revealed months later that it was in talks with other companies about licensing out webOS. The company even launched its first webOS smartphone, the Veer, in May.

All seemed well in the land of HP.

But then the TouchPad hit the shelves on July 1, and HP seemingly went quiet. Consumers weren't digging its new tablet offering, and the company decided to first introduce a $50 discount. When that wasn't enough to move tablets off store shelves, HP offered spot discounts of $100 at various retailers until the company caved in and decided to make the reduction a permanent fixture. Then Wednesday brought reports that Best Buy was currently sitting on a mound of TouchPad tablets, selling only 25,000 of the 270,000 units it had on stock. Best Buy reportedly wants HP to take all of the unsold tablets back.

“It’s obvious that they were using the TouchPad as a make or break event for webOS devices,” said Ben Galbraith, former webOS platform evangelist for Palm, in an interview.

But as indicated earlier, HP may be saving its webOS software for PCs. During the announcement Thursday, HP reported that it plans to announce that its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG). "HP will consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction," the company said.

More is expected to arrive shortly after a conference call covering HP’s third quarter 2011 financial results, so stay tuned.

  • plznote
    What a surprise.....
    Reply
  • koga73
    wow what a waste of money
    Reply
  • emperorxyz
    wow what a waste of money
    Not really. In a capitalist society, lots of companies tries different directions and the market dumps the loser idea quickly because it doesn't sell. If you think that was a waste of money, you should try communism.
    Reply
  • illo
    emperorxyzwow what a waste of moneyNot really. In a capitalist society, lots of companies tries different directions and the market dumps the loser idea quickly because it doesn't sell. If you think that was a waste of money, you should try communism.
    no, it was a waste of money. 1.2 billion for a lost cause is a waste of money no matter what sort of government/society is in place.
    Reply
  • war2k9
    Lucky for me i didn't buy one yet.
    I still like to buy one to have a piece of hp history.
    Reply
  • captaincharisma
    wow HP now takes the record of shortest product life cycle away from Microsoft

    but again its HP so it is not a surprise at all
    Reply
  • 11796pcs
    Looks like HP is taking a page of of Microsoft's handbook. Do a lousy job on a product in a new environment, completely unsupport it, do zero advertising, give consumers no good reason why they should buy it, and make consumers afraid they will discontinue supporting it and then wonder why it fails. At least Apple goes with their gut and tries to make consumers see why they should have the product they are selling. HP and Microsoft just let the product die.
    Reply
  • bin1127
    emperorxyzwow what a waste of moneyNot really. In a capitalist society, lots of companies tries different directions and the market dumps the loser idea quickly because it doesn't sell. If you think that was a waste of money, you should try communism.
    Wow, where'd you pull that argument from? Maybe you should protest the current communist wave by forfeiting your pension and health care. And put buckets of water around your house in case a fire breaks loose because unionized firefighters will be the end of America.
    Reply
  • Google could buy the Palm OS for it's software patents, but it would alienate the Android developers.
    Reply
  • captaincharisma
    i was curious so i check wikipedia and HP just released there tablet at the beginning of july of this year so yea big waste of money

    from wikipedia:

    he HP TouchPad was launched on July 1, 2011, in the US, and July 15 in Canada, UK, France, and Germany
    Reply