HP to embrace Android for its tablets, pretend WebOS never happened

HP logoHP's efforts to clean house and resuscitate its business continues: a report from ReadWrite says Hewlett-Packard is planning to re-enter the tablet market at some point this year with an Android-powered device using Nvidia's Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip. This would be HP's first tablet since 2011's HP Touchpad, which was quickly and unceremoniously liquidated and dumped from the company's lineup six weeks after its introduction.

HP's decision to use Android for its new tablet also serves as the last chapter in the long, convoluted story of WebOS, the mobile operating system that HP bought when it acquired Palm in April of 2010 under then-CEO Mark Hurd. Hurd was pushed out of the company in August of that year, and his successor Leo Apotheker was intent on making HP a software and services company. Apotheker's rapid discontinuation of the TouchPad and his confidence-shattering announcement that HP might get rid of its consumer PC business were just two of the reasons why he too was shoved out of the company in favor of current CEO Meg Whitman. Whitman then released WebOS to the open source community, effectively washing HP's hands of the operating system.

HP to embrace Android for its tablets, pretend WebOS never happened

By using Android instead of WebOS, HP will at least have a popular operating system that enjoys good (if not always tablet-centric) third-party developer support. However, the company will be going up against stiff competition from the likes of Samsung, Asus, Lenovo, and other PC OEMs that are all trying to grab their own piece of the tablet pie. Dell, one of HP's chief competitors in the PC market, gave up on Android tablets after its Streak lineup failed to leave a mark.

ReadWrite's anonymous sources believe HP may be showing off its tablet or tablets behind closed doors at Mobile World Congress later this month, but the public unveiling would happen at some point afterward. The company is also said to be considering Android-powered smartphones, just not in the near-term.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: HP, tablets

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