Tag Archives: touchpad

Amazon Might Be Buying WebOS

It’s been about 6 weeks since HP decided to stop making webOS hardware, that date itself about 6 weeks after the launch of the first webOS tablet, the TouchPad. After that announcement, HP held a fire sale for the TouchPad at the ridiculously cheap price of 100$, or a quarter of normal retail. Needless to say, stores couldn’t keep them on the shelves and that fire sale probably did more to spread the use of webOS than anything up to that point. Just this week, Amazon — possibly due to the success of HP’s fire sale, — decided to release a 200$, 7″ Android tablet called the Kindle Fire; both the iPad and the TouchPad are 10″.

Amazon's Kindle Fire

 

Interestingly, the Fire runs a forked version of Android 2.3 (a.k.a. Gingerbread). That version of Android, along all the other 2.x versions of it, was designed to run on a phone, not a tablet; the 3.x (a.k.a Honeycomb) versions of Android are the ones meant for tablets. So why did Amazon use the phone version of Android on their shiny new tablet? Because Google, ever the benevolent behemoth, has pledged to make Android open-source. And they kept that pledge through the 2.x versions of it, but announced that 3.x would not be made open source. However, 4.x (a.k.a Ice Cream Sandwich (if you haven’t figured it out, the code names are an alphabetical progression of sweets)) will merge the phone and tablet versions together and will be open sourced; but who knows when that’ll be.

In the meantime, Amazon did the best they could and took the most recent open-sourced version of Android (2.3), forked it from the Google-controlled repository so they had their own copy, tinkered with it and made it work on the Fire. But wouldn’t it be nice if they had a bonafide tablet operating system, designed for tablets? One that by the way, is actually nicer than Android? Well apparently some Amazon execs thought exactly that, because yesterday HP leaked that it was trying to sell webOS, that there were a few interested parties, and that Amazon was the closest to finalizing a deal.

TouchPad pre-order form on Amazon back in March of 2011

 

Given Amazon’s commitment to random products like the Kindle and their deep interest in the tablet market, they would probably be the best thing that could happen to webOS — and might actually save it from the brink of doom. Although Amazon likely wouldn’t bring back webOS phones, it would at least be nice to see them create some valid competition to the iPad. Not to mention keeping alive the last vestige of the venerable Palm Inc., the first and most terribly managed mobile computing company, which nevertheless had some of the best designs and breakthroughs in the field.

From VentureBeat, via PreCentral

Rest In Peace, webOS

HP announced today that they are discontinuing their webOS devices, namely the Palm Pre, the TouchPad, and the Veer. Turns out they didn’t hit internal milestones. From the press release:

In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

HP Veer, Pre and Touchpad

 

So they’re getting out of the phone and tablet business, but keeping webOS around if they can find somewhere to stick it. They mentioned printers before, which makes no sense, but ok. This announcement has two pretty big implications:

  1. The only viable competitor to iOS and Android is now gone (Blackberry and Windows never had a chance)
  2. Palm, which started the mobile revolution in the ’90s, is completely dead, now that HP discarded the last vestige of their legacy

The great thing about webOS is that it was the perfect combination of the vertical integration that Apple offers with the openness that they don’t (not even Android was as open as webOS), and for that they will be sorely missed.

From BusinessWire, via PreCentral

NY Times Touchpad Video

David Pogue, the famed technology reviewer for The New York Times has a pretty funny video which starts out making fun of how the new HP Touchpad just copied the iPad, then goes on about their differences.

 

From NY Times, via PreCentral

Russell Brand In New TouchPad Commercial

Here’s funny man Russell Brand in a brand new commercial for Touchpad brand tablet computers.

Via PreCentral

TouchPad Commercial

Boxer Manny Pacquiao stars.

Via PreCentral

HP Touchpad Coming July 1st

And this video shows all the coolness it brings to the table. The best is the magic phone-to-tablet transfer of anything you want, including running apps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJtShsHUWgE&feature=player_embedded#

WebOS Touchpad To Arrive In June

The Palm/HP Touchpad is all but confirmed for a June release at least at Walmart, according to PreCentral; OfficeMax will get it in July. It’ll sell for about the same price as comparable iPad models. Since this is the first and much awaited (by Palm fans) webOS tablet, and supposedly has legendary integration with the elegant webOS phones (like the Palm Pre), and not only one but two iPads have been out for over a year now, the device is way overdue. And given the way Android tablets have flopped, the market is ripe for a proper open competitor to Apple’s iron-fisted iOS family.

Hopefully the also much-awaited Pre 3 will be released around the same time. That’ll be a good way to get people to drop a grand all at once.

Update (August 29th, 2011) — the TouchPad did arrive in June, but was discontinued 48 days later, along with the Pre 3, which never saw the light of day.

Via PreCentral