HP still planning webOS tablets despite open-sourcing

Daniel Bader

December 9, 2011 5:08pm

After the announcement today, most people would have thought HP is done with webOS. Open-sourcing the code for the greater good, allowing developers and users alike to compile and build custom ROMs a la Android, seems to be the path of least resistance for the company who only a year ago bought Palm for $1.2 billion.

But in an interview with The Verge today Meg Whitman, the company’s new CEO, claims that HP still has consumer tablet plans with webOS at the fore. While they’re obviously going to try and avoid the mistakes of the TouchPad, there is a vibrant homebrew community that will only get bigger now that webOS is free for all.

She wouldn’t give specifics as to timelines and types of hardware, we’d imagine it would be the lower-cost variety so as to avoid the pricing issue the TouchPad had against the iPad. One thing she did stress was that HP is unlikely to ever be in the smartphone business again, at least not with webOS as its operating system.

So now that we know webOS isn’t dead, nor is it buried, we’re excited to see what kinds of things the homebrew community can do with it. Perhaps an Android phone running webOS? Maybe soon

Source: The Verge

  • Accophox

    I think one of the biggest problems about webOS was that the hardware sucked. You can’t just have a giant plastic tablet that’s heavy and clunky (compared to the competition) with an unproven OS and expect to do well.

    That, and their advertising campaign was… not that well executed.

  • lolz

    Looks like HP is joining others in order to slow down Android rising market share.

    I wonder who will sue them first, for patent infringement(s) now that WebOS is open to all.

    • John Lee

      WebOS products have been out for awhile. If companies want to drag Palm/HP into lawsuits, they would have done it by now.

    • tabbo

      since palm has oodles of patents……..including the patent for the smartphone i think the other companies will leave hp alone………they are their own worse enemy anyhoo

  • briggs

    Hope this works. I kinda hope it takes off. Another tablet would be nice. I’m getting sick of the ipad v android war.

  • anon

    How do you have an Android phone running WebOS? Do you mean hardware that runs Android to run WebOS?

    • deltatux

      That means that through homebrew, people porting WebOS to devices that were meant to run Android instead… like having the Galaxy Nexus to run WebOS instead of Android.

  • max

    I think HP if they want to sell tablets they need to make web OS tablet in price range 100 – 200$

  • EAK47

    I personally own a Touchpad and it’s not as bad as it looks.

    It’s great for web browsing as it supports Flash, but don’t even think gettin’ nice apps for that, there is almost nothing in the WebOS store.. especially for the Touchpad.

    One would be stupid to port WebOS onto an Android-based phone.

    To quote Max, if they sell the tablet somewhere between 100-200$ they could have a large market share because people who wants to buy a tablet only for web browsing and e-mailing will go with the Touchpad.

    Personally, I’d never pay 400-500$ for a tablet that does just the samething as my SGS2.