HP washing its hands of webOS: discontinues tablets, Pre phones

HP logoHewlett Packard confirmed today that it will discontinue all current operations related to webOS devices via a press release. The announcement comes less than two months after HP launched its first webOS tablet, the HP TouchPad, and less than three years after developers first started making apps for the platform.

HP, which is holding its third quarter earnings call today at which it is expected to confirm its exit from the PC manufacturing business as well, specifically called out the TouchPad and "webOS phones" as devices that would be taken out of commission. This includes the HP Pre 3, a webOS phone that was due for launch any day now in the US and had just been released in Europe.

The company says that it will "continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward." This could be interpreted in a range of ways, from putting webOS on less competitive platforms (the company has indicated in the past its desire to put the OS in items like refrigerators), to even selling it to a competitor.

The sudden move puts developers for the platform in flux. Ed Finkler, developer of the webOS microblogging client Spaz, told Ars he likes developing for webOS, and doesn't suspect the OS will be fully killed off. "Whether or not it is a viable platform commercially in the consumer electronics field is another question," Finkler said.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: HP, mobile phones, tablets, webOS

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