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

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

Summary: 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.

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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?

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Printers, Tablets

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12 comments
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  • It depends

    on whether you want a jumbo phone, a printer remote or a useful tablet with a real OS.

    I'll wait for the Win 7 version.
    tonymcs@...
    • Enjoy the wait

      @tonymcs@... That Win7 tablet is going to be HP's [i]Chinese Democracy[/i].
      matthew_maurice
      • The Win7 tablet is going to be HP's one that sells...

        provided they use the new intel atoms coming out that is...
        Johnny Vegas
  • **None** of these tablets are real competitors to iPad yet ...

    because these have worse, non-IPS screens and, most importantly, poor battery life.

    Also, the screens of competing tablets are too small for these to be as useful as iPad.

    <b>When Apple will release its 7" tablet "iPad mini", it will have special trick</b> (for example, Apple has patents about processing sensitivity to hands/fingers movements before these reach the actual screen -- this would allow to dynamically scale-up the graphics in the part to where the hand/finger is moving closer to) how to conveniently deal with the iPad's apps, which are meant for 10" screen.
    DDERSSS
    • Surprised is what I'll be

      @denisrs "special trick"
      Yeah, special. Right. And Steve Jobs said we'd be "surprised" how you interact with his new tablet.

      http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/2010-the-year-of-the-tablet/

      The surprise? It's a keyboard, dummy.

      If I was Stevie, I wouldn't change a thing - except perhaps a small front camera for FaceTime. The iPad is selling like hotcakes at brunch-time Sunday morning. Why bother with an untested, and untried technology?
      Olderdan
      • RE: HP's very nuanced view of Android: We support webOS but...

        @Olderdan

        "Why bother with an untested, and untried technology? "

        ... because HP just making the same old thing for less for two years is Apple is growing revenue while HP is stagnant? because the truly what we all should learn from Apple is that failure to innovate is FAILURE!
        tkejlboom
    • RE: HP's very nuanced view of Android: We support webOS but...

      @denisrs Apple fell behind on smartphones by building an OS that supported just on screen sie and resolution. I don't believe they have any such problems in the revamped iOS. And seriously, touch screens are sensitive enough for very accurate positioning onon tiny cellphone screens. There's no functional difference between 10" and 7" screens.

      Maybe I'm wrong, and Apple has screwed it up again. They seem to function in this magical Teflon coated world, where they can pull anything and not get called on it. But that doesn't last. IPhones are being overtaken by Android phones now, and the iPad is getting really competiton soon, from Android, Windows, WebOS, and perhaps other tablets. Their imposed limits already limit their market share in the long run. Bad design is something they simply can't afford anymore at the softwares level.
      Hazydave
      • No, other tablets can not compete yet: these do not have fit OS

        @dave@... : Apple had to create special version of iOS for iPad. Google does it too currently, but they are not ready yet to show it working.

        All of the non-Apple tablets do not have OS suited for the tablet-size.

        Also, Apple has much better battery life and better (IPS) screens on both iPad and iPhone than any major possible competitor.

        So no, Apple leads strongly -- as of now.
        DDERSSS
  • It's mostly a question of timing.

    HP, I think, spent all of that money because <u>ownership</u> of webOS allows them to make secret "Spyware-leads-to-our-advertising- partners" sauce. Android is everywhere, and too Open for HP's strategy- and of course, it's built by Google, a direct competitor for the targeted advertising which HP wants to build into your "printer".<br><br>The only reason why an Android product appears at all is market timing- it's webOS replacement isn't ready yet, and HP wants to establish this marketplace ("You don't need a separate tablet, we give you one for FREE with your printer") ASAP.<br><br>Just don't dream of letting HP "image" a copy of your home-based business Schedule C, after you've agreed to a boilerplate license for letting their software do whatever it "needs" to do. Based on their illegal spying in the past, I've got a REALLY BAD FEELING about this.<br><br>BTW, every HP multi-function printer, all the way down to the $80 "personal" spray-jet models, already uses a disk to store the image when you copy something. Can you say "E.T., Phone home?" YIKES!
    Rick S._z
    • RE: HP's very nuanced view of Android: We support webOS but...

      @Rick S._z low end printers simply do not have disk drives. Take one apart if you doubt this. Some large business printers do, so they can spoil multiple print jobs, rather than forcing a server to do that work. Low cost printers store your photocopy in RAM.
      Hazydave
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    gavin.chan
  • good idea about printers

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    gavin.chan