HP's very nuanced view of Android: We support webOS but...

HP is reportedly dumping plans for a Google Android tablet in favor of its WebOS, but the view is very nuanced. So nuanced that you wonder if HP executives are talking to each other.

Hewlett-Packard is reportedly dumping plans for a Google Android tablet in favor of its webOS, but the view is very nuanced. So nuanced that you wonder if HP executives are talking to each other.

The Financial Times reports that HP is on track to deliver a webOS tablet in early 2011 and a Windows-based unit. The Android tablet is off the table, said Jon Rubinstein, who was Palm CEO but now runs HP's gadget unit. HP voted with its pocketbook, said Rubinstein.

However, HP already has an Android tablet. Last week, HP rolled out a printer with a detachable 7-inch console that runs on Android. Simply put, HP's console doubles as tablet. Boy, this sure looks like an Android tablet to me.

Do these HP execs talk to each other?

HP bet on the webOS, but to date has nothing to show for it. The printer group talked glowingly about Apple's iOS. Then the printer unit uses Android for its printer. When I asked whether there were any WebOS plans, executives said integration is being pondered.

Bottom line: Rubinstein can say there are no plans for an Android tablet, but the printer unit already made one. Guess which unit has more clout? The big question: Will HP's printer unit go with a webOS console at some point?

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