HP: there will be no more WebOS tablets or Smartphone’s
August 22nd, 2011 - 03:21 am ET by C. D.
Just a quick look before leaving. Presenting their quarterly financial results, HP has announced the end of their adventure using WebOS with the company now looking to sell off their PC division to concentrate on their software and professional businesses.
The presentations of Dell’s financial results were good for the quarter but warned shareholders of tough times ahead. At the same time, rumours were circulating that sales were very weak for the first HP TouchPad tablet running WebOS, with this not reassuring markets of the manufacturer’s mobile project capabilities.
Two days later, presenting the company’s financial results, Leo Apotheker, CEO of HP, announced that they wouldn’t be continuing development of a range of mobile products (Smartphones and tablets) running WebOS.
Two years after the acquisition of Palm and their platform for 1.2 billion dollars, the American group has no illusions about their operating system which has been crushed by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
The rhythm has become too difficult to support, despite software developments and product launches they haven’t been able to capture any significant market share. This doesn’t mean that WebOS is completely dead, as it could be found in electrical products, on board automobile systems or even as a connected OS – but it does mean that it has no future as a mobile OS.
This could be the reason that Jon Rubinstein, CEO of Palm at the time the company was acquired by HP, wasn’t named as leader of the mobile WebOS division during HP’s most recent reorganization. The group was looking at offering WebOS to others in exchange for licensing fees, but not in the mobile field, which suggests that HP may yet have other projects in mind for it.
Focussing on software and services In a current economic environment which is become unfavourable for computer manufacturers, confronted by a slowdown in sales globally and an impressive drop in established markets, HP also announced that they would be separating their PC division, either selling it off or establishing an independent entity.
The general public computer market has quickly lost speed (except for Apple, whose sales grew at a time when almost everyone else is down) while operating on low margins. HP seems to wants to focus a lot of their activity on the more profitable professional market and software.
The group also announced that they would be purchasing professional solutions provider Autonomy for 10 billion dollars. HP’s destiny could be similar to that of IBM – a leader in the PC market until their sold the division to Lenovo to concentrate on software and services.