HP to Discontinue WebOS Devices
In an absolutely stunning move, HP announced today that it plans to "discontinue operations for WebOS devices". They specifically refer to the TouchPad and WebOS handsets. According to the brief mention in the press release, HP claims that they will "continue to explore options to optimize the value of WebOS software going forward".
As an initial response, I feel that this is a knee jerk response to the lackluster worldwide response to the recent crop of WebOS phones (Pre 2, Veer, Pre 3) as well as the TouchPad tablets along with Monday's announcement of Google acquiring Motorola Mobility. My guess is that HP will choose to either aggressively court licensees to produce WebOS hardware or they may look to shift the platform to embedded devices such as printers and as an secondary "instant-on" OS for their PC line.
No word as of yet how this impacts the imminent launch of the TouchPad 4G, the 7" TouchPad Go line or the Pre3's domestic release.
In related news (and in the same press release), HP has also announced that they are exploring spinning off their Personal Systems Group, the group that includes HP PC hardware business and whats left of the former Palm Inc.
The relevant part of the HP press release states:
HP also reported that it plans to announce that its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG). HP will consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.
In addition, 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.
More on this story as it develops.
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