A few years back, HP acquired Palm, the makers of WebOS, to compete with Apple and other Android manufacturers in the smartphone and tablet market. Since then a lot has changed — HP’s WebOS based tablet flopped and so did the Pre 3. Following this disaster, the company decided to abandon further WebOS based product development and dumped WebOS in the open source territory.
The ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona brings a few interesting updates to HP’s long and largely unsuccessful saga in the Post-PC era.
HP Announced $169 Android Based Slate 7
After failing in the tablet space with two different operating systems, Windows and WebOS, HP is up for another shot, this time with a 7-inch “slate” running Android. Set to release in April, the Slate 7 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has an ARM dual-core 1.6GHz CPU, 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. The device measures 7 inches diagonally with a 1024 x 600 resolution and weighs 13 ounces (~350 grams). It has a 3MP rear and VGA front cam for video calling, Beats Audio processing for better sound and boasts video playback of upto 5 hours.
WebOS sold to LG
While quite a few folks expected a tech company to take over the remains of HP’s WebOS and build a product on top of it, LG, a long-time Android manufacturer, wasn’t one to figure in that list. What’s even more surprising is that LG, at least initially, doesn’t want to use WebOS for what is has been known for — smartphones and tablets — but for its smart TV product line. This is what an LG exec said after the acquisition:
“It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices. In the short term, we’ll apply this to the TV only. But in the future, wherever our plans take us, we’ll consider an extension to other devices.”
Notably, the acquisition covers the WebOS source code and the talented team behind the client side of WebOS.