Saturday, August 20, 2011

HP to drop webOS and TouchPad

HP just announced that to stop support on webOS, that marks the end of the Palm (or Palm Pilot when it was first started).

HP TouchPad first on July 1, 49 days later on August 18 2011, HP announced will discontinue TouchPad and webOS. This is so dramatic.

I heard there are 200,000 unit of TouchPad to be return back to HP from BestBuy (refer here, and here). Other that the form factor (too heavy, muck thicker etc.), pricing of the table, lack of application is another factor why TouchPad is hard to sell.

First I would like to talk a little bit about HP here. HP share price drop as much as 20% on 20th August trading day. HP announced a series of plans includes plan to spin-off PC business, stop TouchPad, stop webOS, and to buy Autonomy, a company to provide enterprise solutions. Some analyst say the 10b takeover for Autonomy is overprice.

As HP may spin off the PC business (which is the largest in the world) and switching to enterprise market, has disappointed some share holders. It could be a right decision as PC business is unclear in the future.

I would like to talk more about webOS and Palm. I have not been following Palm and webOS news, as Palm disappointed me.

I am not surprise Palm ended this way, but I am surprised HP stop webOS (and TouchPad), the latest Palm OS which HP acquired for 1.2b USD last year.

webOS is the latest Palm OS with web 2.0 capabilities release by Palm in January 2009. As a successor of Palm OS, webOS target on multi-tasking and better media capabilities. webOS is a rewrite of Palm OS which base on Linux kernel.

It might not exactly right to say that webOS is a successor of Palm OS, because Palm OS was spin off as PalmSource and sold to ACCESS (company who create NetFront browser) in year 2005.

Now I don't see how Palm worth 1.2b, and how HP spend the 1.2b easily without a good planning, or very bad execution of the plan. HP management should know better than me, I don't understand they make the decision to buy Palm. Just like the decision Palm buy BeOS.

I have talked about how bad is Palm doing for the pass few years as a Palm user and consumer point of view.

Palm has no way out before it was acquired by HP. Palm should license their Palm OS, like what Google is doing for Android. Google license Android for free, almost every mobile phone makers (except Nokia) use Adroid for their smartphones.

Things change when Google acquired Motorola Mobility. For mobile makers like Sony Ericsson, Samsung HTC and etc. may not be so confidence with the Google Adroid system for 3rd parties, but they don't have other choices for smartphone OS.

HP will continue to grow (there are rumors saying Oracle may buy HP), that's the end of Palm on HP's hand. 

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