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.