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HP says it will build new webOS powered tablets by 2013

post #1 of 82
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While stating her company would "bet heavily with Windows [8 tablets]" in the short term, HP chief executive Meg Whitman stated that the company will return to building a webOS tablet by 2013, if not next year.

Whitman made the comments in an interview with TechCrunch, joined by HP board member Marc Andreessen.

Earlier today, Whitman publicly announced plans to retain webOS internally and offer the platform up through an open source program, without detailing what type of license the company planned to offer the software under.

Instead, Whitman spoke only in general terms about contributing to and investing in the mobile platform, which HP acquired as part of Palm in a $1.2 billion deal last spring.

But Andreessen remarked in the new interview that with webOS released as an open source project, there will be future webOS tablets from a variety of vendors, adding that HP would be among the companies designing new tablet hardware for the webOS platform. Whitman added that HP might not produce new webOS tablet hardware in 2012, but would reach the tablet market by 2013.

The company has previously stated that it would not be making new webOS smartphones, but has only suggested that future tablets would be exclusively based on future versions of Windows. This makes the new reiteration of support for HP branded, webOS based tablets an interesting commitment, particularly given such a long timeframe.

HP waffles on tablet platform strategy

At the beginning of 2010, HP debuted a Windows 7 powered "Slate PC" alongside Microsoft's Steve Ballmer just prior to Apple's unveiling of the iPad. That device was a dismal failure, and the challenge of the iPad sparked an effort to buy Palm and develop a true tablet competitor using that company's already in progress webOS tablet platform.

Just weeks after launching its first webOS tablet this summer, HP's previous chief executive Leo Apotheker canceled the TouchPad and other webOS hardware projects, noting poor sales of the device and a new direction for the company.

Apotheker was then himself spun off as HP's chief executive and Whitman was appointed in his place. Rather than affirming support for webOS however, Whitman spoke exclusively at the time of HP's plans to deliver a tablet next year running Microsoft's Windows 8, which isn't expected to be completed before the end of 2012.

Her announcement today that HP would eventually return to building custom tablets running webOS is therefore a surprise, and presents a strange cycle of waffling between Microsoft's platform and HP's own. By hedging both of its bets, HP is sending strange signals about its commitment to either Windows 8 or webOS. HP has also dabbled with Android, but hasn't delivered any successful products with that mobile platform either.
post #2 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While stating her company would "bet heavily with Windows [8 tablets]" in the short term, HP chief executive Meg Whitman stated that the company will return to building a webOS tablet by 2013, if not next year.

Great news.

WebOS has a lot going for it, and if it gets picked up by more than one company, it might mature into a truly great platform.

I wonder what the Android folks think about all this? Will we see predominately Android Phones and WebOS tablets in our future? Android, so far, has not cracked the tablet market in any huge way.
post #3 of 82
Given HP gained 5% marketshare almost overnight with their $99 firesale... and now that WebOS is open source... Tablet manufacturers using Android now have another choice...

Will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. WebOS already is a better system than Android IMHO.
post #4 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post

Given HP gained 5% marketshare almost overnight with their $99 firesale... and now that WebOS is open source... Tablet manufacturers using Android now have another choice...

Will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. WebOS already is a better system than Android IMHO.

As many have commented in the previous post on this, I can see phone manufacturers being all over this to escape the mess Android is. IMHO it will be, as you say, simply more choices for those not wanting Apple products.
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post #5 of 82
Further this sounds like a fall back plan. Something to the effect that if the Windows tablet effort doesn't succeed we will start to install WebOS on our tablets. I'd hate to be an HP stock holder right now as this sounds awfully wishy washy to me.
post #6 of 82
WebOS does have a huge patent portfolio that has a much better chance of not getting hit by Apple's law suits, so maybe HTC, Samsung and Lenovo can make tablets that can run WebOS as well.

We seriously do need more choice than iOS and Android. Microsoft, wake up, wake up! You snoozed way too many times.
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post #7 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

As many have commented in the previous post on this, I can see phone manufacturers being all over this to escape the mess Android is. IMHO it will be, as you say, simply more choices for those not wanting Apple products.

For a tablet I can see WebOS gaining traction where Android can't, but not in the smartphone sector. Still, overall it looks like a rocky road for Android and WebOS in the tablet market. I wouldn't back either horse.

And 2013? Apple will definitely have HiDPI iPads in 2013 and possibly be so entrenched with another iPod-like dominance that HP will scrap will any WebOS tablets long before then.

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post #8 of 82
So HP will produce a tablet if the open source community can improve WebOS enough.
post #9 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

So HP will produce a tablet if the open source community can improve WebOS enough.

That's pretty much my take on it too.
post #10 of 82
They fired Apotheker because of his waffling and all they get is more of the same high-priced, utterly incompetent management from that horrid, stupid woman.
You know what, HP? Why don't you hire me instead of Whitman. I will only take half her salary, and I don't think it's humanly possible for me to do a worse job than that moron.
post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Great news.

WebOS has a lot going for it, and if it gets picked up by more than one company, it might mature into a truly great platform.

I wonder what the Android folks think about all this? Will we see predominately Android Phones and WebOS tablets in our future? Android, so far, has not cracked the tablet market in any huge way.

The Android crowd does not mind WebOS. In fact, most of the big stories on Android sites when HP was pushing WebOS were about the fire sales for $99 and where to get one and when they became sold out.

Cyanogenmod members also worked on porting Android to the tablet. Now with it being open source and all that goodness, on Google+ and some Android sites, people are already talking about Dual-booting Android&WebOS hardware.

Choice is something always cherished in the community, even if it does start a bit of an internal fight at times.

Now To wait for Tizen to release their SDK and source code, and may give Ubuntu Mobile a shot depending on how they handle the UI.
post #12 of 82
Sounds like a mixed message. They're betting on Windows 8 and WebOS - which one is the public supposed to buy? 2013 will be a tough time to launch a new tablet - iPad will be in its 4th generation!

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post #13 of 82
Bring it on, HP. I would support Web OS in a heartbeat. Other than iOS, no other OS entices me.
post #14 of 82
I view this differently than many of those do who commented previously. This "strategy" seems like a disaster. It lacks direction. It's complicated. It's vague. It hinges on a wing and a prayer of other manufacturers adopting the platform, but also promises to deliver it's own hardware. Of course, this is what HP decided NOT to do a few months ago.

Android is a mess and may end up killing itself with fragmentation (as many of us predicted quite some time ago). Now WebOS is basically dead before it gets off the ground. Hopefully this will be enough to answer analysts' questions for the next three years as to why Apple continues to kick everyone's ass all over the globe.
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post #15 of 82
I was pleasantly surprised with the last version of WebOS that I looked at for smart phones, about a year ago. It was incredibly polished. I tried to get one of the TouchPads when they were clearing out but could not get one before the early birds.

The lesson I learned from the HP fire sale is that there is a "magic" price point that they will sell in droves. If HP can somehow get this device to $199 or lower, run a good OS, and have halfway decent build quality, they will sell lots. I think Android is a bit of a mess, and another alternative with the same polish as iOS would be good for the market.
post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Bring it on, HP. I would support Web OS in a heartbeat. Other than iOS, no other OS entices me.

I'm with you. I was really shocked when they pulled WebOS of the market; glad it will come back. It is the most elegant of designs and most unifying of all the platforms. Apple's iOS is a walled garden that was needed to get it started, but HTML5 apps (their original plans and basically WebOS) was a superior plan for cross-platform opportunities.

Perhaps this will rekindle the opportunity for apps written for HTML5 across all the mobile platforms!
post #17 of 82
<face palm image>

Sounds as if HP management is half committed to the webOS tablet future.

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post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

<face palm image>

Sounds as if HP management is half committed to the webOS tablet future.

They spent months debating on focusing on Web or OS but they couldn't figure out how to do both at the same time.

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post #19 of 82
Quote:
HP waffles on tablet platform strategy

Ireland knows who wrote this without having to check.
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post #20 of 82
You don’t announce something two years from now, which competes with something you’re announcing ONE year from now, when you’ve repeatedly failed to deliver successfully. What’s the message here?

“Our WebOS is great! It’s open source so everyone can use it! But we won’t be able to get it working ourselves for two more years.”

Or...?

“Web OS is better than Windows Metro, or we obviously wouldn’t bother with it, but we’ll ship Windows Metro next year anyway, and then switch to the real deal after a bunch of people have bought the stopgap we want to abandon later!”

Or...?

“We’ll make anything... we don’t even have to know what or why or when! Our TouchPad success story is only the beginning!”

Or simply...?

“We have a clear, intelligent long-term plan to catch up to with what Apple started years ago. Users will give us tons of profit instead of wanting real iPads. Just wait!"
post #21 of 82
It all sounds like great news for manufacturers looking for an Android alternative, and Apple could use some serious competition to keep them sharp.

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post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

You dont announce something two years from now, which competes with something youre announcing ONE year from now, when youve repeatedly failed to deliver successfully. Whats the message here?

Our WebOS is great! Its open source so everyone can use it! But we wont be able to get it working ourselves for two more years.

Or...?

Web OS is better than Windows Metro, or we obviously wouldnt bother with it, but well ship Windows Metro next year anyway, and then switch to the real deal after a bunch of people have bought the stopgap we want to abandon later!

Or...?

Well make anything... we dont even have to know what or why or when! Our TouchPad success story is only the beginning!

Or simply...?

We have a clear, intelligent long-term plan to catch up to with what Apple started years ago. Users will give us tons of profit instead of wanting real iPads. Just wait!"

lol! This is just a mess. Very poor leadership.

The sad thing is that I when I was shown the TouchPad before its UK release I actually thought HP had a good thing going. Very slick OS with lots of potential.

We'll just have to see how things pan out in the future but for now I'm happy to stick with Apples solution/eco-system
post #23 of 82
Get ready for a firesale part II, coming in 2013.
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Get ready for a firesale part II, coming in 2013.

lol!
post #25 of 82
First she took her sweet time deciding what to do with WebOS. When the announcement finally comes, there is no commitment at all to do either something tangible or to let go completely. A CEO is supposed to be decisive. Meg Whitman has not been that so far at HP.
post #26 of 82
I doubt Meg Whitman will still be CEO of HP by 2013.

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post #27 of 82
Hmmmm... I'm sure this post will win lots of friends...

I actually think that the tablet market is getting quite saturated for the moment and I can't see great gains for anyone after the holiday season and through 2012.

I also see the iPad numbers dwindling throughout 2012 and possibly until Apple brings forward a product that more closely parallels the productivity of a laptop.

I can see the v3 iPad maintaining a healthy presence in the tablet market but I do not see it being sold in the numbers we have seen for iPad 2; too many fire sales of various other tablets (and too many Fires being sold at fire sale prices) has definitely caused a saturation of a product that is still too limited to really lift itself off the ground... but that won't last for long and it will be Apple that produces the first tablet to really appeal to an even wider market.

The reason I say all of this is because it seems like a hell of a time for Whitman to even think that HP is going to be successful with a tablet product other than to throw another $500 million out the window having another fire sale (as stated by Apple ][ ) and saturating the tablet market even more.

All, of course, imho.
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post #28 of 82
Oh dear, HP haven't learnt any lessons from Steve Jobs yet have they! He must be having quite a chuckle as he sips on his celestial apple juice right now.
post #29 of 82

Meg... You're supposed to plug your vibrator into 120 volts -- not 220 volts.

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post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Meg... You're supposed to plug your vibrator into 120 volts -- not 220 volts.


Oh, Dick... you're probably writing this from the throne room...
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post #31 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

You dont announce something two years from now, which competes with something youre announcing ONE year from now, when youve repeatedly failed to deliver successfully. Whats the message here?

Our WebOS is great! Its open source so everyone can use it! But we wont be able to get it working ourselves for two more years.

Or...?

Web OS is better than Windows Metro, or we obviously wouldnt bother with it, but well ship Windows Metro next year anyway, and then switch to the real deal after a bunch of people have bought the stopgap we want to abandon later!

Or...?

Well make anything... we dont even have to know what or why or when! Our TouchPad success story is only the beginning!

Or simply...?

We have a clear, intelligent long-term plan to catch up to with what Apple started years ago. Users will give us tons of profit instead of wanting real iPads. Just wait!"

Ya! nailed it!
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post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I doubt Meg Whitman will still be CEO of HP by 2013.

I think she'll do OK, personally. She's already demonstrated more leadership ability than that last clown.

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post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I think she'll do OK, personally. She's already demonstrated more leadership ability than that last clown.

I'll take a bet on that. I know you well enough from the boards to trust your word if you give it. $25 gift certificate to the Apple Store that she will not be CEO of HP by the last day of December 2012?

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post #34 of 82


In late news...

Larry Ellison revealed plans to: buy HP; sell off all the hardware divisions... and open-source Meg Whitman!


...Wow! What a missed opportunity, what she's doing to HP -- she could have done to the entire State of California.

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post #35 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'll take a bet on that. I know you well enough from the boards to trust your word if you give it. $25 gift certificate to the Apple Store that she will not be CEO of HP by the last day of December 2012?



I will agree to make you a friendly bet, good for bragging rights. Let's not spoil the fun by bringing money into it. I'll mark my iCal.

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post #36 of 82
HP has essentially killed WebOS, this was a wake.

It's a PR move, and the subtest should be: "No one offered us any money for WebOS, so we're eating the hardware and the software."
post #37 of 82
2013 is a lifetime away in the tablet business. The rest of the systems would have to fall flat on their faces for a new product to stand a chance of success starting in 2013.
post #38 of 82
Two-four-six-eight -- watch while I e-quiv-o-cate!
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post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post

They fired Apotheker because of his waffling and all they get is more of the same high-priced, utterly incompetent management from that horrid, stupid woman.
You know what, HP? Why don't you hire me instead of Whitman. I will only take half her salary, and I don't think it's humanly possible for me to do a worse job than that moron.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Meg Whitman is incompetent as is the entire HP board. Frankly, the entire board needs to be replaced and a competent CEO needs to be hired. To say that Meg Whitman is credible because she did such a terrific job at eBay is laughable. eBay would've done well regardless of who was in the CEO position. She was in the right place at the right time. That's all. No more, and no less.

As a Californian, I'm just thankful that she's not our governor.
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomMcIn View Post

2013 is a lifetime away in the tablet business. The rest of the systems would have to fall flat on their faces for a new product to stand a chance of success starting in 2013.

Meg's between a rock and webOS... she realizes she's in a no win situation no matter what she says... or even if she says nothing.

Mentioning 2013 was just her way of giving a forward looking statement to the analysts.

She might have been better off just saying that HP is fucked...
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