Bradley: HP may "resurrect" TouchPad? | webOS Nation

Bradley: HP may "resurrect" TouchPad?

by Derek Kessler Tue, 30 Aug 2011 11:11 am EDT

HP Personal Systems Group EVP Todd Bradley is currently over in China, where he spoke to Reuters about the future of the PSG. Speaking somewhat candidly, Bradley admitted that the preferred path for the PSG is a spin-off as an independent company and not an attempt to sell the massive PC manufacturing arm of HP to another company. Quashing rumors about his possible departure, Bradley said that he intends to stay on through this transition, and to lead the separated company if it comes to that.

He also broached the subject of webOS, which he claims to have not been in China to discuss, even though he has said previously that “a number of companies” have approached HP about the mobile operating system. What caught us by surprise was a line in the Reuters story: “Bradley said the company could resurrect HP's short-lived TouchPad tablet computer.” There’s not a direct quote on the subject, but we can’t help but be conflicted about the prospects.

On one hand, HP very publicly trashed webOS hardware and it would be a massive public relations reversal to switch around to building and selling the TouchPad again, not to mention the expenses HP has already incurred in shutting down manufacturing and the discounting to fire sale pricing. On the flip side of the coin, the response to the discounted TouchPad has been so intense that even HP was caught off guard by the demand. Of course, that’s demand for a full-fledged tablet priced at $100 – a price where HP is taking a considerable loss.

It’s important not to mistake enthusiasm for a great deal for enthusiasm for the platform. For sure, the shut down and fire sale have greatly increased awareness of webOS, but actual desire is a fickle thing. But if HP can pull off closing down the product, dumping it into the market at negative margins, and then brining it back to life as a healthy ecosystem, that’d be the public relations coup of the decade. We’re not sure HP’s quite that savvy.

Source: Reuters; Thanks to rot and Bill for the tips!