Motorola Mobility's Webtop concept has been killed by Google, but the technology still could have legs. The big question is whether the Webtop was an idea ahead of its time or nutty to start with.
CNET's Roger Cheng confirms that Google has killed the Webtop. Motorola's Webtop, Google's Chromebook and Android just didn't mesh well together. It didn't help that the people behind the Webtop all left Motorola Mobility.
The concept of the Webtop revolved around using a smartphone as a central processing unit. It would then plug into a laptop-dock and become a PC. The Webtop, like many technologies was a critical success, but a mainstream flop. As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes noted, the price for the dock just wasn't right. And beyond road warriors, the market for folks that want to bridge a smartphone and laptop just wasn't all that large.
I had tested a few of Motorola's Webtop phones and docks and thought they were handy---a consolidation device if you will. However, these Webtops were clearly first generation efforts and not cut out to be Google's secret weapon.
Overall, it may be just a little too early for the Webtop concept. Here's a look at players who could pick up the Webtop baton.
There are loose ends to nail down for the Webtop to get its sea legs. For starters, wireless charging would help. The dock with the phone was a power drain if it weren't plugged in. And then there's pricing. The dock needs to be pretty much a freebie. The Webtop concept seems appealing to road warriors, but may have just been too early.