HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

Summary: Turn out the lights on webOS as HP is discontinuing all devices running its OS acquired from Palm for $1.2 billion. This includes all phones and the just released TouchPad tablet.

SHARE:

In a stunning move today HP has announced it is discontinuing all webOS devices. The official statement isn't clear on what might happen to the webOS software.

"...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."

This vague statement could indicate HP wants to sell the platform, but given it has failed for Palm and now HP it is hard to imagine who might be interested in a purchase. HP is likely not interested in licensing webOS to other companies as that would require maintaining an infrastructure to support and develop the OS. On the surface it doesn't look like HP wishes to continue active association with webOS.

What HP hasn't addressed is how owners of existing webOS devices, including the only recently released TouchPad tablet. These devices include the Pre, Pre 2, Veer and TouchPad.

Topics: Mobile OS, Hewlett-Packard, Mobility, Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

13 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • looking ahead

    now that the decision has been taken, two scenarios can be imagined
    1. webOS dies a euthanasic death
    2) some other company byes it,,,,,,my guess either HTC or Samsung,,,bth have the cash reserve ,,both have the hardware producing capabilities to churn out webos devices
    neurodome
    • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

      @neurodome The highest value for Palm and WebOS at the present time is likely related to their associated IP. I would expect that HP has already received inquiries about exactly this. Remember, when HP purchased Palm, Apple was also very interested.<br><br>As for HTC and Samsung buying WebOS, I just don't see it. They will probably stick with Android and WP7. IMO MeeGo would be a better choice than WebOS as it is open-source, meaning that development costs would be lower. Also, MeeGo is making inroads in the In-vehicle infotainment system market which should give it staying power.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

      @neurodome
      Hope there is life after death for the system. I was burned on the Slate 500, but have been very pleased with the touchpad. I would like to be able to use it for a year or two, but who knows what may catch my fancy next. Sure won't be an HP product.
      jedwinkoontz
  • I predicted the death of WebOS

    And now I'm predicting the death of RIM.

    Soon there will only be Apple.

    We all lose.
    toddybottom
    • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

      @toddybottom

      You mean...YOU all lose.
      kamaro
    • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

      @toddybottom

      out of ideas???
      owlnet
    • RIM will be acquired before it's allowed to die,

      although the company itself will cease to exist.<br><br>And, no, Apple will not be the only player, or even the dominant player in smartphones and/or tablets. <br><br>The competition, Google and Microsoft, will make sure about that,
      adornoe
  • It is not 'maybe', WebOS is **DEAD**; HP is not even going to shop it to ..

    potential buyers, unlike their PC division. HP said clearly that they will consider selling of PC division, and did not say that at all when mentioned WebOS.

    HP will keep the IP and software engineers to themselves. Your "maybe" comes from typical for such cases phrasing about possible "exploring" of opportunities to use the software, which usually mean that it is just dead.
    DDERSSS
  • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

    I am still in my 30 day period. I am returning it. The only money I am losing here is $4, which I spent on couple of apps. Not a big loss. I am sure HP is not going to maintain the OS upgrades any more. I am returning mine because I will not get any enterprise app development enquiries for it. I bought one because I really wanted to develop for that platform seeing HP's background, and it seems they are afraid of business.
    Ram U
  • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

    James, you bought into the hype. You spent $800 on a glorified typewriter, proclaimed that it's great for blogging, and now you're pissed off because you're stuck with an obsolete piece of technology history fit for a museum.

    Read between the lines: slates are dead. HP is one of the biggest computer hardware companies in the world. If they cannot be successful at making a slate with their vast resources, do you seriously expect smaller manufacturers to succeed long term? It won't happen.

    HTC is a hardware company. They don't do software and have no software development experience. Nor do they need any of those headaches when they can already furnish Android and WP7 on their hardware for less cost.

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if Microsoft had a hand in all of this. Did you really expect the OuchPad to compete in-house with a Windows 8 slate? HP and MS have been in bed for over a decade, and I seriously doubt MS would have been happy with one of their largest customers promoting a competing OS in the enterprise.

    Apple's iPad is only successful because it was marketed at the existing consumer iPod crowd and sold to them well. Try to step outside of that and slates fail. Apple will go down in history as the company that forced it's competition into pouring billions into a technology fad. Sadly, once the world wakes up and realizes what's happened, even the iPad will disappear into a tiny niche as the only remaining slate device.
    lgpOnTheMove
    • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

      @lgpOnTheMove The TouchPad was clearly not designed by HP. They took a paper tablet off Palm and pushed it out the door. I suspect the deal was something like this: we're buying you to make cars and appliances, we'll give you one shot to show we should keep backing you in phones and tablets.

      Too bad for the ex-Palmers that they really suck at designing hardware.

      I bought one of their ePrinters with the big resistive LCD on it and I suspect I'm looking at one of the future homes for webOS. If I were my Mom I'd use that touch screen on the printer more to do things her Son does with his iPad 2. I can see HP scoring with a certain segment of the population for making smarter more capable printers for soccer moms et al...

      But for some of us slates are not dead. I get 4 hours of use out of my iPad 2 every single day.
      scotty1024
  • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

    I for one am not stunned, I asked for it, I got it. :-)

    I applaud HP for having the fiscal responsibility not to keep throwing cash down a rat hole. Of course now it will be interesting to see if they step up and take care of the 1000 or so customers that still have TouchPads and are otherwise stuck with them.

    For my part I'd appreciate a nice discount on a new HP Colorlaserjet with ePrint support. You know you'll make it back on the toner guys. :-)
    scotty1024
  • RE: HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

    -
    yaque