The complicated mobile development market got just a little simpler yesterday as HP discontinued operations related to the production of webOS mobile phones and tablets. Not sure anyone saw this news coming, despite rumors that sales of the TouchPad in particular had been abysmal and prices for the tablet had recently been slashed. HP will “continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward” however so webOS itself isn’t quite dead yet.
webOS is a great piece of software but HP’s hardware didn’t wow and their devices never found a place in a competitive marketplace. The OS itself was great to use. It felt intuitive and responsive, and from a aesthetics and usability perspective might have been the closest thing yet to matching Apple’s iOS. Hopefully HP can find a partner or a buyer for webOS and maybe by this time next year we’ll see webOS software on HTC phones or even the next BlackBerry.
Hey, at least the HP Touchpad lasted one day longer than Microsoft’s Kin.