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HP: webOS tablets to come back in 2013

updated 04:55 pm EST, Fri December 9, 2011

HP hints webOS tablet revival after all

HP chief Meg Whitman and key board member Marc Andreessen in an interview Friday revived talk of webOS tablets following a decision to open-source the code. Despite quashing any near-term hopes, Andreessen explained to TechCrunch that HP saw not only other companies making webOS tablets but also HP itself. There might not be any hardware in 2012, Whitman added, but it would certainly happen by 2013.

Windows 8 would be the main focus for 2012, she said. No talk existed of smartphones.

Having a webOS tablet, even if nothing else, would revive a platform that many had thought dead even as HP mentioned its open-source initiative. The platform was dropped by since-ousted CEO Leo Apotheker after suggesting HP couldn't compete with the iPad, but most attribute that to overly optimistic $499 pricing, a lack of help to overcome delays following the HP merger, and build quality that stemmed in part from limited resources before the HP deal. Asking for up to two years would signal a desire to start from scratch and could lead to a noticeably different experience.

HP hasn't said which if any other hardware companies are involved. Rumored talks with Intel, initially thought to be for a webOS sell-off, could see Intel pitch webOS on smartphones and tablets.

by MacNN Staff



  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Unfortunately, this is what HP does

    They never want to innovate, they just want to "create" something and then drop it on the world hoping that users and other companies will do the work of making the product popular by contributing useful features. This is how they have essentially killed off many of their products or have released products that you have never heard of because the business model sucks.

    Maybe this has the potential to be different because webOS has a fan base, but I would guess that most of the people that care are more technical than most consumers which could make this more of a hobby OS. Also, HP has done a great job of taking a compelling product and letting it sit on the shelf for 2+ years in order to make the platform much less compelling.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    webOS is too good to let die

    HP doesn't know what to do with webOS. Open-sourcing it puts it in the hands of those who do. That's a good thing.

    Waiting a year before reviving their webOS hardware is a great idea. See if webOS gets any traction at all against iOS. If so, HP can evaluate whether or not they think they can compete. If webOS does poorly, or if HP thinks it's impossible to compete in a sustainably profitable way, they can punt.

    Good simple plan. I wonder why HP's board couldn't think of it.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sorry, but: are you out of your mind?

    "See if webOS gets any traction at all against iOS." - without any current hardware to run on? Sure, webOS will get some insane traction under these very favourable circumstances.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Franticly building a barn door three years after t

    the barn.

  1. Kees

    Joined: Dec 1969



    the Intel tidbit must have MS a little worried. With their eminent failure to get Windows 8 running on par with their competition on ARM processors, potentially seeing Intel's mobile efforts shifting focus to their own WebOS, will make it even harder for them to get competitive in performance and battery life.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh goody goody!

    WebOS has been open-sourced. Now Apple can steal all it's concepts and ideas then claim innovation!

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