HP has just announced its decision to get out of the smartphone market and that it will no longer sell devices powered by the fledgling webOS. HP issued a statement saying, “We 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”. That last sentence leads me to believe that they plan on selling webOS to another vendor.
For the uninitiated, Hewlard Packard bought out the dying Palm and its WebOS software for 1.2 billion back in April of 2010. When the sale first went through, HP was quoted as “not using” WebOS for smartphones. They quickly reversed their decision, after much public outcry. I guess they should have gone through with their original plans of not using it for smartphones, because now, only after 16 months under HP, the OS is meeting an early grave. It’s a shame too. Having been an early adopter of WebOS myself with their first handset, the Palm Pre, I can attest to how smooth and beautiful the OS was. But it was marred by sub-par hardware and weak sales. And after Sprint, WebOS’s original carrier partner declined to carry the new WebOS handsets, I guess the writing was on the wall. To top it off, Best Buy was rumored to be wanting to return upwards of 200,000 unsold TouchPad webOS tablets, saying that sales of the tablet were dismal. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of webOS. Maybe HP will sell it to the likes of LG or Sony Ericsson to so they can add to their Android and Windows Phone offerings.
This has been a crazy week in the tech world. First Google acquires Motorola, and now HP shuts down webOS. I wonder what next week will bring? Maybe Nokia will FIRE STEPHEN ELOP, DUMP WINDOWS PHONE and return to Symbian and MeeGo. One can hope right?