HP TouchPad, WebOS and Pre ditched: Reaction

Why are we saying bye bye to WebOS

The HP TouchPad the Pre smartphone and the WebOS running on them shall be no more. We gauge the reaction from the T3 team, industry experts, retailers and you the T3 readers

It's probably fair to say that no one saw this one coming. The HP TouchPad has only been out a few months but when news that HP was halting production of the TouchPad, WebOS and Pre hardware the T3 team were probably not the only ones surprised to see the decision to put the brakes on WebOS hardware.

While the those in the industry and owners of a HP TouchPad or Pre device get to grips with the grim news, we find out the reaction from the T3 team, fellow tech experts and you the T3 readers to see what you have been making of the HP news.

Mark Mayne, Deputy Editor T3.com and T3 App Chart Editor

"HP's decision to scrap WebOS, effectively killing off the HP TouchPad and Pre phones (like the Pixi Plus), as well as hinting that it may sell its PC division entirely is sad news for tech lovers. Not only does it indicate how tough HP must view the future consumer devices market, but it also stifles competition. We liked the HP TouchPad because it was slick, powerful and intuitive, and with it gone the tablet market is a poorer one. Spare a thought for the Pre 3 though, which launched earlier this week in the UK - shortest tech life ever?"

David Hicks, Future Publishing Art Director iPad & Tablet editions

“I'm actually quite disappointed that HP have announced that the TouchPad won't be developed any further - it would have been great for consumers to have another choice of tablet on a different and developing OS.

Purely from a design perspective, it looks the part, but perhaps a little too chunky. I would have preferred a slimmer, more robust casing, but there are some nice touches, like the card-style multi-tasking of WebOS, and the Beats Audio speakers. The major issues for me were the lack of grunt in the processor, poor battery life, and a total lack of paid-for and free apps on the HP Catalog store.

Additionally, the price point, at £425, was just too high. £299 and the TouchPad might have created more of a stir. Surely HP's tablet strategy should have been to undercut Apple by a fair whack, and entice those who couldn't afford the iPad 2, but still wanted a tablet that did practically everything the iPad does - internet, video, games, email and more. The TouchPad 2 could have been a contender...

The tablet buying market is definitely large enough to accommodate plenty of alternatives to the iPad, so it seems quite a knee-jerk reaction from HP to kill off this particular product range when its still early days.
It'll be interesting to see how the other tablets fair over the coming months. Somehow, I don't think the TouchPad is Apple's last victim.”

Gareth Beavis, TechRadar Mobile Phones Editor

“HP’s decision to drop WebOS is really saddening - it’s one of the top operating systems for mobile but never had the critical funding and backing it needed to really take on Apple’s offerings.

“When I saw it launched at CES, I was blown away - it was the first serious iPhone alternative and if it had been given the same push as Apple gave iOS it would have been a real contender today - especially if it had been licensed out.

“But canning it now, sadly, makes the most sense. None of the big names are going to license it as they’re already working with Android or Windows Phone or their own offerings.

“The only option is to buy the unit for the patents - with the battle lines in this area firmly drawn it’s easy to see Google or Microsoft taking what’s left of Palm and picking the bones to further tool up in the ongoing patent wars.”

Retailer response

Chris Ward, Clove Technology Digitial Media Coordinator

"I'm quite surprised that HP has made the decision to stop making hardware for webOS so soon after taking it over,”

“It’s a great platform.”

“Despite the long wait between the new webOS devices being announced and released, over 6 months in total I think, we've had strong interest in the Pre 3 and sales have been good upon launch,”

“While some people may be put off by the uncertainty of the future of the OS, we have found that webOS has a strong following and I think that the majority of fans will stick by it.”

T3 Facebook fans response

Andy Senyszyn I'm no Apple fan, but HP have done nothing right since before Carly Fiorina took over. Since then, they've become bloated, unfocused and have no killer USP in any of their products.

Competing with iOS is one thing, competing with iOS WITHOUT using Android is just mental.

Steve Robertson Tablets at this time are overpriced and underpowered. There is also no space for another OS. We need a battery breakthrough for real OS tablets to work, until then you'll have the iPad and Android tablets. I'll wait for a fully fledged OS and decent CPUs before I waste my cash on these devices.

T3 Twitter followers response

: I think they are insane, listening to your podcast and others there was obvious hope that WebOS 'could' be good.

@thebigyeti Mad. I work for a HP reseller. Just 2 months ago I was at a HP event, WebOS was their whole future. Everything was based around it.

@Isa Capaldy: I think they've just had it and point blank admitted "Apple, you win"


HP TouchPad video: Hands-on

Source: T3 Video