In what some would call a totally insane move, HP has announced that it will be discontinuing its line of webOS devices, most notably the newly-released TouchPad tablet. HP bought Palm and the webOS platform last year for $1.2 billion.

While this doesn’t immediately effect Apple, it is interesting that one more iPhone/iPad competitor has bit the dust. Who will be left standing this time next year?

What makes HP’s sudden discontinuation of webOS so unforeseen is that, up until July, HP seemed to have a very solid webOS strategy. AllThingsD reports that HP said that the company was committed to a broad lineup of webOS devices. The whole reason that HP bought Palm and webOS in the first place was because the company needed a viable platform to get into the consumer mobile market — iOS and Android was (and has been) eating everyone’s lunch.

Here’s part of a statement from HP back in 2010:

“The combination of Palm’s trailblazing webOS and Hewlett-Packard’s strength as the leading provider of everything from PCs, laptops, and printers to home electronics and enterprise systems promises an amazing roadmap of new tools for your mobile and web-connected future.”

The “future” didn’t really pan out for HP apparently.

webOS has been in trouble for awhile, with a huge lack in third party developer activity, and little to no market adoption. Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein also left the project recently, and things have been going downhill fast since then.

When software is left unsupported, hardware tied to that software becomes obsolete. The TouchPad was out on the market for only 6 weeks, and hopefully HP will offer refunds to recent purchasers. As Gizmodo points out, there’s no reason for HP to leave webOS blood on the customer’s hands.

Also, for all five of you that bought a new webOS phone in the last several months, you should probably start considering the upcoming iPhone 5.

  • Joeyjojo

    I work for Hp in the uk and I get involved with some crazy stuff, i guess the WebOS devices are just too small for Hp to care about. They probably just thought ‘let apple have there ipad’
    Hp don’t need small devices like that anymore.

    Just my opinion.

  • Tbv

    Too bad, even though I would never buy an HP touch pad. I would rather see it be a viable competitor the iPad. I don’t want Apple to be the only provider for touch pads.

  • I love HP desktops and laptops – that is currently what I use, besides an old DELL that refuses to die, even though I beat the crap out of it and have upgraded its OS to UBUNTU, which is the only reason I still use it.

    But, I can’t figure out why HP would take such a short-sited attitude to a $1.5B investment!!! That’s a lot of money in or out of any “recession”.

    Following the Money always uncovers the true reason! Perhaps HP is working on an OEM agreement with Apple that will be worth far more to HP?

    – Eric

    • numbnuts

      this is completely hypothetical as i dont follow Stocks: yes $1.2B does seem a bit of a waste but what if HP made $5B if their share price increased at the initial news of buying Palm? would that not mean an overall gain of $3.8B, webOS being a sacrificial leverage ploy?

  • TimCook


  • The Wizard’s Baker


  • Leon

    I wonder if HP is going to take the Android and Windows Phone approach with webOS or sell it.

    If the TouchPad goes on sale, like really cheap, I would buy some of those devices, at least those are good enough for me just to browse the internet, but of course my iPad still my multipurpose device.


  • Not a bad move HP. About time!

  • Roberto

    how is it related to idevices?

  • John Moraitis

    what they need to do is put android 2.4 on the pre 3 and launch it. people whould buy it.

  • Alex

    They’re apparently also going to stop selling PCs.