BREAKING: HP shutting down webOS device operations, will "continue to explore options" | webOS Nation
 
 

BREAKING: HP shutting down webOS device operations, will "continue to explore options" 439

by Derek Kessler Thu, 18 Aug 2011 3:14 pm EDT

We knew HP was having trouble selling webOS devices, and as part of their quarterly fiscal announcement, they announced that they plan to discountinue operations for webOS devices, to include the TouchPad and webOS phones.

In the press release sent out this afternoon, HP confirmed that they were in discussions for an acquisition of Autonomy and announced preliminary results for Q3 2011, with revenue up to $31.2 billion in comparison to $30.7 billion this time last year.

But this is PreCentral - we don't care about any of that, and we're pretty sure you don't care either. Needless to say, our minds are completely blown by this news. HP didn't give any reason in their press release for the shut down (we've reached out for comment and will update if/when we get it).

So what does this mean? The statement was carefully worded to state that they're "discontinuing operations for webOs devices," not webOS as an operating system. If anything, this should add fuel to the second option we discussed earlier today when the shocking word of an HP breakup first surfaced: HP is more interested in webOS than devices. They tried to give it a go with hardware, but quickly realized that they weren't going to be able to make it work without massive long-term investment and commitment. So less than a year after acquiring all of Palm for $1.2 billion, we're looking at a hazy future for webOS.

Today it became approximately one thousand times harder to recommend anybody buy a TouchPad or Veer or Pre3. The entire ecosystem is in doubt. Now it's pretty clear why HP has had trouble telling us when or where the Pre3 might actually be available. There's the possibility that maybe someday some other mobile device manufacturer might pick up webOS and use it on their handsets, but if/when that happens is anybody's guess.

(full press release after the break)

More coverage:

 

HP Confirms Discussions with Autonomy Corporation plc Regarding Possible Business Combination; Makes Other Announcements

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HP (NYSE: HPQ) today commented on the recent announcement by Autonomy Corporation plc (LSE: AU.L). HP confirms that it is in discussions with Autonomy regarding a possible offer for the company.

HP also reported that it plans to announce that its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG). HP will consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.

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 today announced preliminary results for the third fiscal quarter 2011, with revenue of $31.2 billion compared with $30.7 billion one year ago.

In the third quarter, preliminary GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) was $0.93 and non-GAAP diluted EPS was $1.10, compared with third quarter fiscal 2010 GAAP diluted EPS of $0.75 and non-GAAP diluted EPS of $1.08. Non-GAAP diluted EPS estimates exclude after-tax costs related primarily to the amortization of purchased intangible assets of approximately $0.17 per share and $0.33 per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2010, respectively.

For the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, HP estimates revenue of approximately $32.1 billion to $32.5 billion, GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $0.44 to $0.55, and non-GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $1.12 to $1.16. Non-GAAP diluted EPS guidance excludes after-tax costs of approximately $0.61 to $0.68 per share, related primarily to restructuring and shutdown costs associated with webOS devices, the amortization and impairment of purchased intangibles, restructuring charges and acquisition-related charges.

HP estimates full-year FY11 revenue will be approximately $127.2 billion to $127.6 billion, down from its previous estimate of $129 billion to $130 billion. FY11 GAAP diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $3.59 to $3.70, down from its previous estimate of at least $4.27, and FY11 non-GAAP diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $4.82 to $4.86, down from its previous estimate of at least $5.00. FY11 non-GAAP diluted EPS estimates exclude after-tax costs of approximately $1.16 to 1.23 per share, related primarily to restructuring and shutdown costs associated with webOS devices, the amortization and impairment of purchased intangibles, restructuring charges and acquisition-related charges.

HP will host a conference call with the financial community today at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET to discuss these announcements well as HP’s third quarter 2011 financial results. The call is accessible via an audio webcast at www.hp.com/investor/2011q3webcast.

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure at the convergence of the cloud and connectivity, creating seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.

Use of non-GAAP financial information

To supplement HP’s consolidated condensed financial statements presented on a GAAP basis, HP provides non-GAAP operating profit, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net earnings, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share and gross cash. HP also provides forecasts of non-GAAP diluted earnings per share. A reconciliation of the adjustments to GAAP results for this quarter and prior periods is included in the tables below. In addition, an explanation of the ways in which HP management uses these non-GAAP measures to evaluate its business, the substance behind HP management’s decision to use these non-GAAP measures, the material limitations associated with the use of these non-GAAP measures, the manner in which HP management compensates for those limitations, and the substantive reasons why HP management believes that these non-GAAP measures provide useful information to investors is included under “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” after the tables below. This additional non-GAAP financial information is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for operating profit, operating margin, net earnings, diluted earnings per share, or cash and cash equivalents prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Forward-looking statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If the risks or uncertainties ever materialize or the assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to any projections of revenue, margins, expenses, earnings, tax provisions, cash flows, benefit obligations, share repurchases, currency exchange rates, the impact of acquisitions or other financial items; any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations, the exploration of strategic options for PSG and the execution of cost reduction programs and restructuring and integration plans; any statements concerning the expected development, performance or market share relating to products or services; any statements regarding current or future macroeconomic trends or events and the impact of those trends and events on HP and its financial performance; any statements regarding pending business combination transactions; any statements regarding pending investigations, claims or disputes; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the impact of macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the competitive pressures faced by HP’s businesses; the development and transition of new products and services and the enhancement of existing products and services to meet customer needs and respond to emerging technological trends; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its suppliers, customers and partners; the protection of HP’s intellectual property assets, including intellectual property licensed from third parties; integration and other risks associated with business combination and investment transactions; the hiring and retention of key employees; assumptions related to pension and other post-retirement costs; expectations and assumptions relating to the execution and timing of cost reduction programs and restructuring and integration plans; the possibility that the expected benefits of pending business combination transactions may not materialize as expected or that the transactions may not be timely completed; the resolution of pending investigations, claims and disputes; and other risks that are described in HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2010 and HP’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including HP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2011. As in prior periods, the financial information set forth in this release, including tax-related items, reflects estimates based on information available at this time. While HP believes these estimates to be meaningful, these amounts could differ materially from actual reported amounts in HP’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 31, 2011. In particular, determining HP’s actual tax balances and provisions as of July 31, 2011 requires extensive internal and external review of tax data (including consolidating and reviewing the tax provisions of numerous domestic and foreign entities), which is being completed in the ordinary course of preparing HP’s Form 10-Q. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

© 2011 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Source: BusinessWire

Category:

439 Comments

Say Whaaaa??

Sounds like lots of you will get what you wanted. HTC, or Samsung built webOS devices.

I don't know, the demand for WebOS is so low. Why would either of them spend time and money developing it. I'd love some HTC hardware, but once it starts spreading "webos is dead" then coming back will be next to impossible.

Agreed. I think it's pretty much over. However, please, everyone join me in saying...

#*@$ you too, HP.

i've said it before, and i'll continue to say it til the day i die.... IT'S ALL RUBY'S FAULT!!!!

THIS.

Let's all pour a little out for our hommie webOS...2 1/2 years of waiting. jesus...

#everybodyoff

+1000

Simple. Google is in the process of buying moto. This could seriously make android handset manufacturers squeamish. If HP does this right the OS might be baught out by say an existing Android handset manufacturer.....and if Palm's patents go along with it....Watch the feeding frenzy as Apple/Google/MS go after Palm.

I don't think this is what they wanted.

Just saying I've been listening to people for a long time right on this front page talk about how webOS needed to be on HTC hardware...

How interested do you think they are in a platform that has publicly failed under two different regimes?

This isn't like Windows Phone 7 where it's new and Microsoft is going all-in on it. WebOS is a known entity that has failed everywhere, every time.

It won't be a priority for any developer or any manufacturer interested in making money.

THIS!

People need to remember that webOS has a history associated with it. It's NOT a new OS no matter how many people wanted to believe in a "re-launch". I honestly do not believe this thing will get licensed out. It has had "slower than expected adoption" on every carrier, in every city of every country were it has existed. Now it will have the additional stigma of having failed under multiple companies (one that didn't have the resources and one with very deep pockets).

i just wanna see how the HPalm f@nboys are gonna spin this one.

MY TOUCHPAD IS BEING RETURNED AS I TYPE THIS.

Smart move. Divest.

I'm a fanboy and I'm disgusted!

But it's not because of the fact that it's a bad OS. And you can't honestly say HP did right by webOS in any sense. HP entered a stock car filled with midgrade in the Daytona 500 and fired the driver when it didn't win.

I hope and do honestly think there's some hardware manufacturer out there willing to take it and give it a fair shot.

No one will care. Customers aren't going to analyze this. Carriers aren't going to analyze this. It will be the thing that failed everywhere. If something "based" on it comes out in the future, I suspect whatever company is running that ship will do all they can to make sure their product is NOT associated with webOS.

I think this news is more reflective of a lack of direction at HP than webOS being a failure. As a shareholder I would be more concerned that my company spent $1.2 billion on an asset it completely mishandled and felt the need to blow up within the space of a year.

Not sure they could have ever done differently. WebOS was never finished. Not even the 3.02 version on the Touchpad.

Nope, it was a barebones OS. Still is.

Clearly after the earnings conference call, it's obvious webOS is the victim of a company in turmoil.

What are you smoking? HP totally screwed up the rollout of every device every which way (rollout timing, marketing, app support, software glitches, pricing, not providing effective response to feedback from installed user base)

Yep, as long as HP is behind the wheel, you can forget it. WebOS would need a company will to commit to it as well as acquiring the big name services to leverage. I don't see anyone stepping up to do this.

It was obvious months ago that its going to be a three way race between MS, android, and iOS. HP never had a chance.

My Palm Pre died last week. I didn't want to replace it for the third time but the idea of giving up this ecosystem made me sad because it was my first Smartphone. My decision was hard to take because I was, until today, a webOS faithful. I'm now on a Samsung Galaxy S II. Events are often revealing, especially in such circumstances

what is webos piggying on htc or samsung device back? this Apotheker man is a traitor!! this is palm not that sap thing i am really sad

You're still in dreamland. It won't happen with HP running webOS in any form..

you really think either would bother?

"EVERYBODY OFF"

Probably for the best for this moment.

I'm impressed that you were able to make me laugh with this comment.

You knew this was coming. I thought they had legs at least til Spring to dig the hole further. But kudos for HP pulling the plug. They still sound mixed up though. Hopefully they can refocus with MS.

LMAO. You know you wrong man. :)

"HP, WORKS LIKE NOTHING".

nice "marathon" race you've committed yourself to Apotheker.

killing it shows just how far off base you are.

Yeah.

Somebody should have explained to Apotheker that a marathon is 42 km - not 4.2 km.

I think you mistakenly added a "k" in that last part.

one year, and Apotheker promised new devices in weeks, rather than months; HP was committed to webos over the long haul; TouchPad would be perfect; blah blah blah. You can't trust a lying exec.
Sold my stock. If you can't trust management, the investment is unwise.

I was just thinking that my self. Shortest marathon in history.

just remember what happened to marathon at the end and you could see this coming from....miles away :)
#trainwreck

If you believed that marathon BS then you deserve to have your bubble burst. Leo can say whatever gibberish he wants, The race is controlled by the stock holders. It was only a marathon in his mind.

Even I thought they'd hold out a bit longer. Have to give them credit for knowing the road was a dead end. But, this could give rise to the next open source mobile OS....but, probably not.

Show of hands. Who is glad they remained fanboys and held out for that next new phone? You can always join the Tea Party.

Well, I hope Google buys their intellectual property and patents and incorporate it into their OS. I still love the ease of use but but if you don't have the application support it's dead. Good going HP, drive it into the ground.

Great idea. Who cares where the features come from as long as they are on your phone or tablet. Let the vultures eat.

I shure would like me some swipe to delete and synergy messaging on my Android device.

ahahhahahaahha

RIP.

Yep. Train done crashed.

Oh good grief...

John Kneeland (@SirKneeland) of Palm GBU tweeted "webOS devices != webOS", for what it's worth...

webOS is not equal to webOS devices... ok, *&*& the cup, pour it in my hand for a dime!

*shrug* I'm pretty devastated too, just saying that maybe there will be licensing...

Except webOS devices = webOS community. webOS is NOTHING without devices.

Unless this means there's a licensing deal in place with a webOS Samsung Galaxy S II rolling out by October...

maybe they licence it to webos homebrew??
#everybodyoff

Please say that this is a joke.

Please please be a joke, I have still 1 year left on my Pixi. I knew WebOS was going to die, but not like this. I knew this day was coming, I'm still debating over an iPhone or an Android.

iPhone. Trust me. Been to the Android side. Skip it and go straight to iPhone. Hopefully on Sprint in October.

Windows Phone 7. they stole the cards anyway

um. can i have my $500 back?

me too

no
#everybodyoff

Touchpad buyers who paid full price a few weeks ago are totally screwed. I am not holding my breath for a bunch of software updates to improve WebOS on the pad and app development will be non-existant. It is a movie viewing, email reading web browser. Which isn't bad but not for $500.

Haha.

Oops!

This is nuts. Shares of HP were halted in trading this afternoon as they will be reporting earnings after the close of the market today.

Hmmm....where did I put that receipt for my TouchPad?? That sucker's going back asap.

What a waste of time for everyone loyal to WebOS on this site all of these past months.

I'm taking my TP back, and I'm also telling my Father to return his too.

I'm past the 30 day point of "no return"...

*whimper*

Did it quit working? You knew apps and other junk wouldn't be coming anytime soon anyways.

HP, you killed webOS, which is the best mobile platform!!! RIP...

Can HP sell webOS (or the whole Palm section) to another company, e.g. HTC or Samsung?

Well that is a kick in the teeth. Looks like it is licensing or nothing... Any takers on licensing? What a waste of a good thing!

What company would be stupid enough to license a buggy OS with no ecosystem or apps?

hey htc now own 51% of beats....anything is possible
#everybodyoff

I just threw up in my mouth...

Poor hparsons.

seriously.

Calling HParsons and all of the other HPologists...

No reason for all the doom and gloom, right? Maybe they are discontinuing webOS because they have been working on a secret follow-up OS, webOS II.

UntidyGuy (If you get banned from a site that will not exist in a few weeks then are you really banned?)

Reading comprehension... at this point it says "Device" operations, not software. With that and the "continue to explore options", sounds like HP is looking to license to hardware manufacturers.

Sure they are.

Seriously, how can anyone still lie to themselves about WebOS at this point?

What am I lying about?

That I can read the written word above that says "HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward".

Yup, just like Jon Rubinstein was "promoted." It's called putting a positive spin on things.

They just killed operations - they killed the only devices out there. That is a zero-confidence vote for WebOS in mobile devices and the entire ecosystem.

Of course they will "optimize value" of WebOS, that just means "sell it for the most we can get".

OldSkool will never give up. Just leave him be... It's sad enough around here today.

I just don't know how he can believe anymore and I think it does a disservice to confused WebOS users when people try to put on their happy face and tell them "well this clearly means Samsung is just going ditch Android for WebOS!"

He is the guy with the laser disk player in his basement swearing it is still the best technology. I admire his loyalty.

Dude what are you talking about. It's a soft launch. lol.

haahha! soft launch, indeed.

And a soft crash as well.

soft launch, apocolyptic crash

I was devoted to webos up until the release of the touchpad and when the reviews hit I went out the next day and bought the evo 3d and haven't looked back. I hate to say I told you so, but too many lies were coming from the HP camp. I'm actually liking my 3d.and word to the wise, don't buy any other phone than htc.htc gets all of the Android updates the quickest with the best support.

RIP webos!

They said device OPERATIONS. You don't shut down operations on existing devices if you expect to license the ecosystem to another company.

Right, because manufacturers are just CLAWING their way trying to get them some of that WebOS.

Face it, EVERYONE here face it, WebOS is DEAD. It's tainted goods. A hardware company would have to be crazy to want to even try to build a device around it. Could you blame them?? Its been nothing but one failure after another. Trying to license it out to 3rd parties is too little too late at this point.

My advice: Suck it up & move on. Android, iOS & Windows Phone are the only mobile OS's with a future. You really can't go wrong with any of them.

LOL

You're forgetting about Cobrakon and his "webos" test.

Your forgetting about Cobrakon and his famous webos test. Damn he pushed and pushed his company to adopt webos. Wonder what they think of him now.

Herb just registered at www.androidcentral.com

Good, then i know where not to go. Let's hope you mods don't stay mods at the sister sites. Collectively you made the Precentral forums a joke.

The precentral mods always consolidated complaint threads and then eventually you never saw those again. Logon to precentral and you would think everybody is happy due to their modding.

Milo was always a fair mod. So much so that I think he actually stepped down.

Actually i guess he was. I'm referring to others. Sorry Milo..

androidpit is by far the better site.

Well then if he did that, it's official, webos is dead ;)

WOW! If this is true, I never thought it would happen like this and this fast.

we are screwed.

we've been getting screwed, they just told us today.

No, you've been told all along.

They've actually been telling us for months in their actions. They just ADMITTED it today.

Boom!

Give credit where it's due. WebOS flops like nothing else.

Looks like i'll be staying with WP7, and trying Qnx when it comes out. We all knew it was coming...

wtf! this is a joke, right?

What the $%@!!@$! seriously?

My touchpad gets to go back for a refund on Saturday...will awate the liquidation price and will get one again at 100$ or whatever lol

I love my touchpad, I loved my pre1 and love my pre2!

Sad HP, real sad...

Many stores do not take returns on discontinued products. If you are going to return do it today.

What kind of WebOS fan are you or any of you if you're going to return your device and get an Android or iPhone?! Why should we all sell-out just because HP sold out.

We should hold onto our WebOS devices since they will no longer produce them. I will not stop using my Pre 1 and will even try to get a Pre 2 to work on Sprint.

I have not given up on WebOS. I hate Android and don't want an iPhone that goes out of date every 6 months. I'm happy with my Pre...

i'll have some of what he's smoking... that **** must be good if it has you that delusional.

Dude, what are WE SUPPOSED TO DO about the bugs in webOS 2.1 and 3.0.2, and some of the apps that need updating? What's going to happen to the App Catalog and our Palm Profiles? This is the reason why many of us are moving on at this point. Like someone said earlier "EVERYBODY OFF..."

A new iPhone comes every year.

You know pretty much when it will come and will be released a couple of weeks after the announcement.

Oh and it will look and feel better than anything out there.

It's hardly out of date every six months - that description would be more appropiate for android.

Also , you might want to know webOS is always out of date.

Sad , but true.

Seriously, I predict $75 on Woot "in the coming weeks"

I'll take 2 at that price

I'd get one for that. It'd make an ok video player.

I'm in line for $100 too. Ah I'll do $200

#1+ for me at that price

I love my Touchpad. WTF?

I have been waiting for months for a freaking Pre3. I hope for some clarification on what is going on.

So did the Pre3 actually launch? HP sent one Pre 3 to a guy in the UK.

And it is summer.

So does that mean that the Pre 3 really did launch?

RedMist you have one of the rarest of technology artifacts. It also occurs to me that RedMist is what you see after someone is shot to death.

Perhaps this is a Pre-cursor to securing a WebOS licensing/hardware deal with Samsung or HTC?

- Foolishly trying to stay positive

damn its not April 1st...I knew when HP bought palm they were gonna kill webos. So sad...

WTF ...

WTF?

Srsly. I hate Android, but now I've got no other options on Sprint. gdmitsomuch

The new iPhone will likely be available on Sprint (based on the rumors).

You have. An unlocked phone.

Windows Phone!

I had the original Pre. Loved it, even though I had to replace it twice due to hardware failures. When my third one started failing just a few weeks ago, I decided the time had come. I was able to get an HTC Arrive from the Microsoft store for a penny, and now I can't believe I held on to my Pre for so long. This is an awesome phone, and WP7 is really very nice-- more so than I had expected. Don't hesitate to go there rather than Android.

There are still things that I miss about my Pre, but I have a beautiful screen, great battery life, an awesome keyboard, voice dialing, etc...

Very solid hardware AND an actively supported, rapidly developing OS.

Just sayin', if you're no Apple fanboy or droidhead, you might want to look in to WP7.

There better be a buyback program for my now worthless HP Touchpad.

Doubling down indeed.

The forums are locked up with all the traffic.

Today will be the day that PreCentral sets its all-time record for web traffic.

I am going to head over to Androidcentral.com to see who else signs up there today...

wpcentral is where it's at! Mango is really good.

one zombie died today, don't live with another zombie
#everybodyoff

Mikah912 here,

I'm pretty saddened, honestly.

I feel for hparsons, the rest of the fans, and especially the developers and homebrew guys who have put so much effort love, blood, sweat and tears into this platform.

You were done wrong.

Unfortunately for Hparsons, the "iphans" were right.

I can't feel much sympathy for people when they so willfully deny reality in order to invest their effort in a product that any objective observer knows is dead.

HParsons was never interested in webOS succeeding or discussing it. His passion was derailing threads and personally attacking others all in the name of "defending" webOS. And the mods cheered him on.

Spend a billion in 2010, write it down a year later? No wonder Apotheker got shown the door at SAP. He will be the demise of HP.

omg I love my touchpad, but this sucker is going back ASAP!

Sounds like they're going zig to Google's zag and stop selling the hardware to focus on the software.

un-freaking-believable !

WHAT THE ****

its a sad sad day for webOS!!!!!!!!!!

Really anybody with half a brain could have seen this coming a mile a way. The product sucked, simple as that.

I don't think it's all that hazy.
.
It's okay, though. I also owned an Amiga and a SuperBeta vcr.

WOW!

(checking - nope - not April 1st today)

That's weak.

What kind of strategic thinking is going on over there? Why bother trying to get in to the Tablet and Smartphone market if you give up a few weeks after starting.
A few weeks? Yes. Sure HP bought Palm last year. But it was clear that aquisition, reorganization and integration would take a while. In February they were ready to announce plans but it took until a few weeks ago to get the devices out.

I find all that understandable. I can even forgive some weakness in design decisions (damn glossy TP back, muddling through with different 2.x and 3.x versions, not fully using gestures on TP, ets...).

But if you are a big company and invest into this kind of market and knew beforehand that you were in a marathon against other established big players, then why the heck would you give up right after getting the first iteration out.

If this decision was already brewing for a while and not just made last weekend over a game of golf then this might explain some peculiarities. Like this uncoordinated disappointment of a marketing strategy. Littered with good ideas and initiatives and all sorts of potential that peter out without follow-up.

But overall strategy at HP seems to be made by throwing dice every few months and look up the Random Strategy Table.

I wonder what the next big strategy will be after the cloud business turns out to be over-hyped in a year or 2.

Palm had the vision and lacked the resources.
HP has the resources, but lacks stamina.
webos seems to be cursed. ;-(

Sigh.