I think everyone will agree when we say that the history of webOS has been far from boring. Having just killed off the Touchpad and Pre 3 recently, HP has announced that new webOS tablets are on the way, with the OS going open source, like Android, Google’s operating system. The mobile OS of the past has a potential future!
When Whitman was asked if HP will be making new webOS devices, she said, “The answer to that is yes, but what I can’t tell you is whether that will be in 2012 or not. But we will use webOS in new hardware, but it’s just going to take us a little longer to reorganise the team in a quite different direction than we’ve been taking it in the past.”
She was also asked what kind of devices we can expect to see, and said, “In the near term what I would imagine — and this could change, in full disclosure — is I would think tablets, I do not believe we will be in the smart phone business again.”
webOS is “going to an open system”, she said. HP will continue to invest in it, just like Google does with it’s Android operating system. This route “seemed to be the one that made the most sense for the industry, for the community, for the developer community.”
Although Whitman wouldn’t disclose any more information on the potential tablets, she did say the company would run the process like a start-up operation, saying we’re looking at a “four- or five-year timeframe”.
HP decided to drop the webOS powered Touchpad tablet and the Pre range of smart phones in August. The Touchpad’s firesale saw prices drop to just €99, resulting in the kind of buying frenzies previously only seen my Apple’s iPad sales. Rumours that HP were going to sell off the OS then began to circulate, with Samsung and other mobile giants listed as potential buyers. Either no buyers could be found or HP are seeing some potential in the previously doomed platform. We were hoping Whitman could turn things around for HP, lets hope they can keep it afloat this time around.