Recently HP announced that it would be discontinuing the production of devices that use their webOS, including the HP TouchPad tablet and phones like the Pre. I’m following news about tablets because they are also e-readers. In fact, I just recently added the HP TouchPad to my Squidoo lens that shows comparisons between different tablets.
From the press release:
“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.”
You can see the full press release on this page, about halfway down. The rest of that article points out the fact that HP is not discontinuing webOS itself (the operating system used on their mobile devices), but just the devices. So my question is: where would that OS possibly be used, if not on their own devices? When I first heard this news I figured it was because they’d decided to stop competing with the likes of Apple iOS and Android, but apparently they want to make things even harder on themselves by trying to get webOS to be used on devices they don’t even manufacture? This doesn’t make any sense to me. We’ll see what actually happens in the future.
This article talks about how HP put the tablets on massive sale for $99, down from $399, and they flew off the shelves. Personally, I would not buy a device that I knew was being discontinued because it means that you’ll probably get very little support for it. Plus, the people who create content for these devices like apps aren’t likely to be bothering with webOS when there aren’t any new devices being sold that use it, at least right now. The article does address that with: “But if you want to future-proof the TouchPad in case HP never succeeds in its plans to keep the webOS operating system alive by finding new partners to license the software, it looks like the independent hacker community has you covered. Efforts are already underway to get Google Android and Ubuntu Linux running on the TouchPad hardware.”
For about a year I owned a Palm Pre that ran on webOS. I liked it quite a lot. It did everything that my old iPhone did, and I didn’t have to bother with iTunes to sync it. (I absolutely hate working with iTunes. It is extremely slow.) The big downfall of webOS is that you don’t have access to all of the iPhone apps. There are plenty that provide the same function, but it’s just not the same. I would have liked to see it become more popular and be real competitor for Apple iOS.