Assessing HP's Cloudy Tablet Future
Things are remarkably quiet in Palm-land, especially concerning the initial plans in store for the combined HP/Palm group. However, All Things Digital is reporting that HP's Android-based tablet is delayed until 2011 at the earliest, if not cancelled outright.So how should we read the tea leaves on this one? Perhaps we are going to see a new HP tablet as the first WebOS 2.0 device, possibly the Hurricane tablet mentioned in May. To add to the confusion, a Microsoft presentation earlier this week indicated that HP is still a Windows 7 tablet launch partner but is no longer a Windows Phone 7 launch partner.
Reading between the lines a bit, one can assume that HP feels be so committed to their Palm smartphone line that there is no longer any room for a Windows-based iPaq smartphone, with Android-based HP smartphones never even being a possibility. However burgeoning the tablet market might be, there's little reason for HP to release tablets running Windows 7 , WebOS and Android. Some consolidation is in order and Android looks to be holding the short straw with so many other companies jumping on the Android bandwagon. HP could then market their consumer-oriented, smaller, and lower-cost tablets running WebOS while still fielding higher-powered larger tablets running the more hardware-intensive Windows 7. Or HP could simply put all of their eggs in the WebOS basket and leave Windows 7 touch support to completely different product lines such as the 12.1" screen TouchSmart TM2 convertible notebooks. To date, HP's only shipping Android-based product is the European- exclusive Airlife 100 smartbook wearing Compaq branding.
With no tablets in sight and the mythical Palm C40 still AWOL and delayed or possibly even killed outright, no one really knows what HP and Palm have brewing at this point in time. Aside, of course, from a bunch of "free" Pre Plus and Pixi Plus smartphones on HP's Wireless Central page.
Related: HP Files for PalmPad Trademark