Editorial: Why HP is not giving up on smartphones | webOS Nation
 
 

Editorial: Why HP is not giving up on smartphones 115

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Fri, 01 Apr 2011 4:27 am EDT

There is a strange rumor going around in the community how HP is planning on dropping their smartphone line after the release of the Pre 3 to only focus on webOS for tablet devices, PCs, and any number of future devices that haven't yet been announced. What I think, though, is that rumor is nothing but nonsensical rubbage and here is why.

HP spent $1.2 billion in acquiring Palm less than a year ago. In that time they have announced three new smartphone devices and released one of them (with another coming just around the corner). They have made several notices that no less than 6 devices will be released within a year and that their major goal is to create an entire webOS ecosystem to compete with the likes of Apple's iOS and Google's Android ecosystems. They even went into a good amount of detail about how they will leverage the cloud to enhance this super-ecosystem that they are developing, and have made further acquisitions since Palm to strengthen their claim to the mobile-computing throne.

Add on top of that one of the most anticipated and unique features of the TouchPad being Tap-to-Share, and you are now extremely hard-pressed to even consider that HP is going to be dropping smartphones from the lineup (much like they are dropping the Palm brand from everything).

HP is trying to win over the population to use their devices in every communication-focused activity of their lives. Communication includes connecting to the internet on a touchpad, playing video games on your desktop PC, printing a map off of your printer, and even chatting over IM with your friends using a smartphone. HP knows that this market is growing very rapidly, and have even estimated that more than 100 million webOS devices will be shipped next year. That's not just how many printers, TouchPads and PCs will be sold running webOS on them, it must include smartphones as well.

But if the numbers and scripted talk from executives don't convince you that HP is not dropping smartphones, then consider this: One of the arguments made that has helped spread this strange rumor is that the tablet does not actually need a device to connect between it and the PC, they complement each other feature-for-feature. The TouchPad can, however, be seen as the intermediate device between a webOS Smartphone and a PC. What person will want to take a TouchPad with them to, say, the gym so that they can listen to music while jogging? No one will, and if the rumor is true that HP is dropping smartphones, then those gym-goers will have no choice but to choose a different device for their music needs. Like an iPhone or an Evo. 

Is that something that HP wants to see happen? 

By considering that a smartphone will often act as an introductory mobile device to webOS (after the PC, that is), you can also see that HP can use smartphones to bring more people in to purchase the larger and more status-friendly TouchPad. Think of a Smartphone like webOS's gateway drug into bigger and better things (tablets, printers, pc's). 

Bottom line is, unless we have completely misunderstood what HP was telling us when they emphasised their interest in creating a strong webOS ecosystem, there is no way at all that they are giving up their Smartphone line. This is an area where HP still have a chance to gain an edge on the competition. If they play their cards right, you'll start seeing the other companies struggling to catch up with what HP has done with the ecosystem that they'll be selling, and that IS something that HP wants to see happen.

115 Comments

Typo in first sentence of second paragraph.

Also I thought that "6 devices" thing was just a rumor sent to webOS Roundup and then repeated here a lot. Have a link for that?

Other than that I agree all the way. Good writeup!

I agree that the lack of an inter-operable ecosystem is the bottleneck that keeps smartphones from being more useful.

As long as people "on-the-go" want to augment their sensory, memory, and encryption/ decryption abilities, HP will need to continue trying to meet that demand. Unless cybernetic implants suddenly get successful, people will instead continue to demand wearable tech accessories (like BT headsets or smart-writstwatches) and tech that can be slipped into "pockets" (smartphones/mini-tablets). The problem is that engineers aren't making stuff light-weight enough that it is wearable and not chic enough that it is fashionable. In contrast, engineers are decent at making smartphones that can be hidden in pockets, and look pretty good in your hand. For now, smartphones are it. HP knows smartphones are it. HP will continue trying to make smartphones. We have not seen the zenith of smartphones.

It'll be a while before tech becomes wearable and then implantable. In the far future, iPhones will be used like Altoids tins: they will be used in DIY projects to make something that is cool and kitschy. A: "Look, I made an iPhone-lighter!" B: "Wow! I read that people used to actually use these things by holding them up to their heads to talk. HAHA! Poor 21st century cavemen!"

Good write-up except you missed one huge point!
The touchpad is heavily dependent on a smartphone, As far as I know, it has to be a webos phone, with bluetooth connectivity to phone app features like answering and making calls, video calls, using the phone for broadband internet, etc. This should have been stated.
As such, adding this information to the mix, I have to agree that HP will be in the smartphone business for the foreseeable future!

pre2, veer, pre3, TP16GB, TP32GB, TP64GB/GSM/CDMA. 6 devices.
Maybe HP will ditch smartphones if this lineup fail.

Haha. Let's hope not. I believe in webOS and its future but if these are the only devices coming out this year, I would stop believing...

i hate to say it but i think webos will fail cuz it is too late to the game. every time i go into a phone store i see that the sales people allll have iphones or android phones. they swear by them and almost hate the competition. people reallllly take their phone os seriously these days (and in many cases too seriously). they will onnnly try to sell to people what they have got in their pocket. i mean i'm sure all phones salesman aren't like that but i bet 90% are. so when there is a shiny new HP phone on the shelf and some1 asks a salesman about it they will b like, "pfffft you dont want that, look at what i got here." they whip out their EVO, epic, iphone4, galaxy s, or nexus and show what can b done on that. SOLD. game over. i hate to say it but this is really what goes down. i love webos and love to show it to people, but people like me are not working at sprint, t-moble, at&t or verizon. WebOs simply wont get any spotlight, and thats what it needs to sell. it pains me to say it but... R.I.P. WebOS you where much adored

Palm hasn't produced a competitive smartphone for about five years. HP has never produced a competitive smartphone. What we have seen, thus far, doesn't seem like it's going to change anything.

One of HP's strengths is that it can afford to pick and choose what markets it invests in. That means it doesn't have to be in the smartphone race. It's been some eight months since the acquisition and we haven't seen any media blitz about smartphones. Not even a real launch.

The Palm Pre was very competitive with the top selling phones at the time of its release. It compared well spec-wise to the iPhone 3 and was much better than any Android device out there.

The problem was poor marketing and it being limited to Sprint. Verizon backed Android and marketed the heck out of the Droid. Sprint piggybacked on that marketing and the first 4G device (the Evo). There was no room for a carrier to market the Pre and Palm was undergoing it's transition.

If the Pre came out on Verizon first and had the big marketing push that Droid had, it would be an entirely different landscape.

HP has to be in the smartphone race or else they might as well exit the tablet race. People would just buy the iPad or Android tablet that complements their phone. The only thing that would change that is if HP sold tablets at a huge loss like Microsoft did with Xbox for years.

Following the exit of the smartphone and the tablet race, what exactly is the point of Palm acquisition then?

A tablet ecosystem is different from a phone. They could easily focus on tablets and disregard smartphones altogether. It might even be warranted.

Of course, they may end up dumping webOS altogether and sticking with windows. This is the more probable future for them given the weak leadership in place currently.

While the ecosystems are different, they are complementary.

If you exit the smartphone market, how do you successfully market a tablet with a new OS, not able to share apps with any phones, when more recognizable names like Apple and Google Android do? Not having a smartphone version of the OS handicaps your tablet significantly.

At that point, HP essentially becomes Archos without the name recognition of having an Android OS. That surely wouldn't sell.

The "more probable future" you speak of with them giving up on webOS isn't likely to happen for a minimum of three years after the launch of the latest announced devices (Veer, Pre 3, and TouchPad). HP is putting a lot into this... and they should. If they don't innovate with webOS the industry is going to shift on them and leave them in the cold. This is the best way for them to differentiate themselves from being just another Dell

I agree with you in all your points except that I think HP needs to put more resources then they already are. Windows is a nice desktop OS and I really don't see it going anywhere for a long time.

I think where HP needs to do its homework is how the market is shifting in how we as consumers, consume media. No pun intended. You see, people used to use media differently then they do now. People used to play video games, watch tv, listen to music, and browse the internet, all from their home. Now, people can do all that stuff on a computer. But computers are a hassle to get out of your bag, plug in the power cord, turn it on, wait for it to load and finally, you can use the media.

Now with tablets and smart phones, you can have all that power in just a few seconds. That is the why tablets and smart phones are a game changer. They make media accessible within a matter of seconds.

As far as being productive, not so much. Laptops will rule in that field for awhile until a solid blue tooth keyboard comes out that can be folded without taking up too much space.

besides the fail in the marketing, the pre simply ran like **** when it came out. it was slow and laggy. not to mention it only had a few dozen apps. we wont even talk about the build quality. dont get me wrong i loved the phone but it had too many short-comings that took rooting to make up for it.

Why would HP blitz before they actually have product ready to go into stores, online sales etc.? I've seen some adds for the WebOS on TV. I think HP would be advised to Blitz when they release the WebOS tablet and again after Pre 3. I hope they can market to the masses. It will be an uphill slog to get widespread acceptance, I think. The masses are in the iOS herd or the Android stampeed for the most part now. Personally I'm a diehard Palm and Pre fan. I hope WebOS succedes for years to come and doesn't become a Sony Beta Max crash and burn!

To build anticipation. That's what the original Droid commercial did too. There was a small 15 or 30 second commercial that didn't even show the phone but that something was coming. It certainly caught people's attention.

Is there really any reason for HP to continue making the hardware, or can they just license the software? I can't see any feasible reason for them to leave the mobile marketplace - especially with such a scale-able and stellar OS, but do they need to continue producing hardware?

Their philosophy (right or wrong) is that they can better control the user experience if they design both the hardware and software to work together. Also as HP is generally known as a hardware company it would be unusual to see them shift to being a pure software company.

I loved this idea before HP bought Palm, but HP is a hardware company at heart. And they have the ability top put some of the best hardware out there and integrate it with webOS. There is no reason for them to give that up now.

A tech company ultimately becomes what it spends R&D dollars on. It may encourage you that a lot of what HP Labs does in in software, analytics, cloud computing (infrastructure, management software, data management and apps) and much more. There's plenty of hardware research like CeNSE - leveraging HP's strength in extremely small sensors. Palm has yet to take advantage of all they offer but will int he future.

So, no HP is not just a hardware company. It's also the 6th largest software company in the world and will grow because that's the world that the new CEO knows and was tasked with growing.

Mobile is a huge growth market. Even being an also-ran to iOS and android would still be better than missing out on entire expanding smartphone market. HPs not leaving smartphones. But if vertical slider keyboard smartphones don't sell then look for lots of slab phones. At that point, HP might as pay HTC to rebrand some of their phones and just add webOS rather than android. Then HP can save on the design costs.

no cuz they dont have the touch area :D

There hasn't been a single successful Pre line yet they keep making them. When will they learn that they need to make some changes? I wonder if HP is beginning to think buying Palm was a bad investment at this point. Two years and Webos still feels like it is not ready for prime time.

There hasn't been an unsuccessful well-marketed Pre either.

Sometimes if you have to work hard to explain something, it just isn't the case. If it was a sure thing that they weren't going to cut their losses, why write an essay?

Facts:
Pre 2 was released Feb. 2011 in the U.S.A. for $199 with contract.

Pre 2 is available as of April 2011 for $0 with contract.

Infer:
zero demand for Pre 2.

Editorial:
For the device to catch on, HP would have to pay people to take the phone! I am being very serious. The value of the latest WebOS device actually has a negative value in the market place. If a person were to buy a WebOS phone, they would have an opportunity cost of being unable to use the latest iOS or Android phone (assuming most people only own one phone at a time). We can debate the valididity of consumer choice until we're blue in the face, but the fact is that consumer perception favors Android and iOS (and even Blackberry).

This is why I am not being unreasonable when I, as a current owner of a Palm Pre seriously demands that HP offer me a Pre 3 for FREE. It's not a matter of whining or a sense of entitlement. If I go to the store and have a choice of the iPhone5, HTC, Motorola Droids, Samsung,et al and the Pre 3 for the same price, why would any significant number of people choose the Pre 3?

The answer is: There is no reason for a consumer to choose the Pre 3. Therefore, there is very little reason for HP to continue selling phones.

All true, but there was no reason or market to buy a Pre2 when

1) The Pre 3 was already known to exist and has been announced. (A 'spec bumped' phone versus a significant upgrade - why would even a webOS lover buy this phone)

2) The users who's contract was up (Sprint) didn't have the phone available to them.

3)Verizon users could not possibly have fulfilled their contracts yet, so they are not in the market for a new phone.

A free phone - don't hold your breath. While they should give some love to current users, FREE cheapens your product in the eyes of potential customers. If the P3 is a solid phone, it will be the job of HP to sell people on it's value. If you want one the other phones, you should buy one of them.

C

Very well said, I agree. I'm waiting for Pre3 and I can be patient if I need.

I agree and am waiting for Pre 3 on Verizon too.

"Sometimes if you have to work hard to explain something, it just isn't the case."

Ha, this isn't true at all! You help prove that by going on to write your own editorial.

The problem with this reasoning is that everyone who would be interested in a webOS device knew that the Pre 2 was already obsolete on its release. We all knew that there was going to be a big announcement of new devices the same month it was released.

Who would lock themselves into a 2 year commitment when new phones with faster processors and better resolution screens were anticipated to be released in a few months?

The reason they released it was because they had them made. What where they going to do, just toss them in a dumpster? Might as well put them out there and see what you can get for them.

I don't think that the Pre 3 needs to be available for free. In fact, that might give the public the perception that it is a cheap phone.

As of now, you'd take the HP phone over the phones you mention for the following reasons:

1) You like the UI. It works the way you do.
2) You like the multitasking. It is still better than Androids.
3) You like the form factor. I don't see anything else quite like a Pre3 and nothing like the Veer.
4) You don't want to support Apple or Google. This may be a minor decision, but politics do play a role in my technology decisions. I like to see competition, so I'm going to support that doesn't have near total control of a huge industry (like Apple has with music and Google has with Search, Maps, Internet Advertising, etc.). You could claim that HP owns printers, but when I buy a printer, I don't automatically think I must get an HP.

"Who would lock themselves into a 2 year commitment when new phones ... anticipated to be released in a few months?"

I agree, but there is no really good way to spin this. Existing users won't buy the Pre 2, and people new to WebOS aren't buying the Pre 2. Problem is, not many people who potentially would give WebOS a try are waiting for the Pre3. They are out there in the stores right now buying Verizon iPhones and Thunderbolts and whatever else is out there.

"What where they going to do, just toss them in a dumpster?"
They may as well have. No body wants them. The carriers I'm sure are losing money on them just having them collecting dust in inventory.

See, I disagree 110%. I think there's TONS of people who want to try WebOS, and they're ALL waiting for the Pre 3.

I'm not spinning the Pre 2 launch as a positive thing, but just that they are making the best of a bad situation.

I was replying back to "thriftytechie" who was saying that no one wants the Pre 3 because there were no sales of the Pre 2. As you and I both said, everyone is waiting for the Pre 3. Lack of sales for the Pre 2 is not an indicator for how Pre 3 may or may not do as thriftytechie was trying to say.

I don't think that the anyone is losing money by carrying the Pre2. Clearly Verizon would simply not do it. It's not like they are forced to or anything. For the most part, I think they just exist on the web, so whatever sales are made the costs are now just shipping them out. And everyone that goes out is a potential new webOS fan. So even if they end up shipping 10,000 its better than 0 and its better than putting them in a dumpster.

Perhaps we could agree that the Pre2 is unlikely to be anything of any significance either way?

1) You like the UI. It works the way you do.

Check

2) You like the multitasking.

Check

3) You like the form factor.

Possibly

4) You don't want to support Apple or Google.

Used to feel this way but now I really don't
feel like supporting HP after breaking their
promises. I bought a Pre after they promised
to provide a WebOS 2.0 update. Now I have no
update. I now distrust HP/Palm and won't buy
another WebOS device. I might only
reconsider if they "Make Things Right" and
tempt me with a free Veer or Pre3.

agreed... i have my sights set on the galaxy s2. that phone is ridiculously nice. however, i really like webos and if the pre3 has an actually launch date in the near future i will still give it a shot.

I just don't understand why these freakin' boneheads don't understand that HP doesn't need idiotic consumers to sell their mobility tools. Lets see, I think HP gets a $100 million contract with company A to provide them with their system upgrades at their data centers worldwide. And as a part of that upgrade they provide these data-center employees with Pre 3s and TouchPads for use in their work environment for seamless mobile connectivity with their work assignments. Do you all think that these employees would complain saying no they dont want Pre-3s and Touchpads because they bought iPhones and/or android phones of their own ?????????? They all would suck up to HP to have free Pre 3/Touchpads for their work. And once they start using webOS devices, they will understand how good webOS devices are and how good webOS system itself is ! They would be able to connect to their laptops/PCs via webOS window. HP still makes money with their multi-year contracts and spread the goodies of webOS worldwide. So just relax and watch how HP plays out their 'mobile connected cloud based system strategies over next 5 years.

Like I said, HP would have to give their stuff away...

People wouldn't take the phones if you give them away. They would view it as worthless.

If you are going to commit to spending some $2000 over the next two years, the difference of a $200 phone vs. a free phone shouldn't be much of a factor. Rather than see HP give them away, I'd like to see them negotiate a better plan with carriers.

If you can't sell them to consumers then see if you can get businesses to issue them

making hundreds and thousands of employees at data processing centers, call-centers, etc. use Pre 3 / TouchPads as part of their mobility tool requirements is not giving away these gadgets free ! The costs and the profits are built into the mega-million contracts that HP signs with their clients. These employees will be forced to use their company provided gadgets at work, and once they use webOS gadgets, they will ditch all other mobile systems from anywhere because the webOS gadgets are best to use in the world.

You're right. Hold on. I'm buying HP stock right now!

I also believe that HP will focus the use of its smartphones towards the business world. I don't see the younger generation wanting an HP logo on the back of their phones. Nokia should have purchased Palm. Pfffttt! What's the sense of looking back?

Sadly, I think its true. HP doesn't really care that much about mobile devices. WebOS isn't even popular among the market. Biggest mistake was not expand on the Pre lineage and not make a new device with WebOS. They should have focused on 2 different events. One for strictly phones with WebOS with FEATURES that could have shocked the cell phone market. Then have a tablet event that should have been better competition with the ipad! This may have been a Apple-ish events, BUT it would have made HP standout! They should have released the phones/tablet week or month right after! NOT this b/s like Palm did! Again, this is why I will not get the WebOS tablet! I'm just disappointed in their game plan!

Not sure I'm going to stick around to find out.

Bought Pre- on launch day and have been toughing it out.

Absolutely love webOS, but it needs more time in the oven and more big name developers on board.

Subject: Alienation

To whom it may concern,

In today's day and age of equality among the Human Race, alienating a segment of the population because of race/creed/personal beliefs/etc. is against many country's creeds/laws/constitutions.

As an owner of a Sprint Pre Minus, I am deeply offended that my product is not represented in your pictorial of Palm/HP model phones. While it is agreed that it is not a "current" model of smartphone running webOS, it is still the choice of many.

As an self-appointed representative of Screwed Over Sprint Pre Minus Owners worldwide, we demand that our phone be represented in your picture.

If you choose not to comply with our request, we'll... hmmm... we'll... TAUNT YOU FOR A SECOND TIME!

M.

Let me try to kill this fail rumor:

TOUCH TO SHARE

Did that work? Hmmm let me try again:

TOUCH TO SHARE!!!!!

Touch to Share is nothing but a bluetooth connection that is initiated by simultaneous accelerometer input. It can be implemented on practically any modern smartphone in an app. It's nothing special. Bump has been available for iOS for over a year.

No it isn't. Bump is just something that works with the accelerometer input. Also you have to keep the App open all the time when you want to use it... Very pratical on a device which is famed to be such a multitasking monster ;)

At the Pre 3, Veer and the Touchpad HP is using special communication coils and when those come close to each other they initiate the process (similar to NFC). Also you can do it WHENEVER YOU WANT. And even if you have different Applications open.

This opens whole new capabilities for App developers to use this functionality (like automated multiplayer-gaming via TTS, transmission of App-Settings, transfer of items from one to another in a MMORPG, Transfer of Notes and other internal App-Data to another device with the same App... etc.).

Touch-to-share behaves to "bump" like the iPhone behaves to pen controlled Smartphones. It takes it to a whole new level.

I am really to start to believe that PreCentral is HP Press Agency, Let's take a look on some facts, all Smartphones coming including the Pre3 are running WebOS 2.1 and do not have Enyo until a later Time "like we have not heard this one before",HP biggest Advertisement is in the TouchPad and not in Pre3 or the Veer,on the Developer Forum HP want developers develop for Enyo what runs only on TouchPad,also the Veer and Pre3 was
Develop by Palm and not HP,and let's not forget the biggest statement from a executive
stating "we did not bought Palm to get into
Mobile Business",So until i see and hear from
HP a bigger push about smartphones, then all the rumors have merit and is not "nonsensical rubbage"

I think they are looking to use WebOS 2.1 for the new smartphones because it is ready. There has been a lot of talk that they are still building core applications for Enyo. I wouldn't read much into that decision.

You state that the Pre3 and Veer were developed by Palm and not HP. I haven't read that anywhere. If that was the case, one would have expected they would have been released around the timing of Pre2. They wouldn't wait this long. Also it would make sense that they'd add the Touch to Share feature unless all three were being developed at the same time.

Your quote from the "HP executive" is grammatically wrong, so I can't believe that is an exact quote. Who was the executive? Was it Hurd, who isn't with HP any more? Also, the TouchPad is a "Mobile Business", so by that logic HP would be exiting the tablet market as well.

It was Hurd who said this. And he didn't say "mobile business" he said "we didn't buy them to build phones" and later said more concretely "Not to ONLY build phones, but to build a whole eco-system of connected devices".

Why is it that hard to kill such crappy BS rumours?

As an Evo owner these days I can say that the Evo is too big to be practical at the gym too. I use my old Pre sometimes, but more often I just use an iPod Shuffle I won last year.

I could also see myself with a tablet running one OS and a phone running another. Although I understand the appeal of a single OS so that data can be easily synchronized across both your phone and a tablet.

I would be surprised if HP dropped the phone business, but I honestly don't see them willing to devote the time and effort required to be truly competitive.

I can see them doing this. It's an all or nothing. Everything is moving to mobility now. And either they do so too or they can close their manufacturing or sell it to China (and concentrate to enterprise service and software, like IBM) in five years OR they simply compete in that space.

I think they have the right OS at the right time. Hope they are committed, as they stand to gain the most. It's a hard market, however, "We chose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard".

This is an Aprils fools post right? ohhhh waiitt........

So the Pre type phones kind of remind me of OS2, for those of you that have forgot, (or are too young to remember) this was an Operating system IBM developed about the time MS came out with Win 3.1
- Thing was IBM couldn’t release an imperfect system, so there were delays upon delays. MS on the other hand did release an imperfect system, and with increasing market share, released fix after fix.
- To make a long story short(and very simplified), even though most pundits considered OS2 to be a much better operating system, MS Windows prevailed, and IBM sold off OS2, never looking back.
- So here we are with HP perpetuating Palms problems - Delays on delays –with an ever decreasing Market share, and No new products (No new available products at any rate). Android may be fragmented, but they have the increasing Market share. Apples sure isn’t losing Market share, And due to missed product cycles and delays, or what ever, HP/Palm can’t seem to give the Pre 2 away.
- So HP floats this balloon about shifting the Tablets to the Notebook division – is this the writing on the wall?
- It would seem that the choice will be taken away from us, either by design, or just BAD planning; I think that HP will close up shop on the Mobile phone division.

I just did a little reading up on OS2's entry Wikipedia to refresh my memory. This statement seems accurate:

"Much of its success was because Windows 3.0 (along with MS-DOS) was bundled with most new computers. OS/2, on the other hand, was only available as an expensive stand-alone software package. In addition, OS/2 lacked device drivers for many common devices such as printers, particularly non-IBM hardware."

This sounds like Internet Explorer being successful because it is given away for free while Netscape was trying to charge companies for licensing. Everyone said, "Sure, we'll take the free option that comes installed rather than pay for something else that may not be as good."

It just doesn't seem to be an appropriate analogy here. It's not like people pay money to swap out the OSes on their phones.

As for your overall point, it doesn't matter much when HP makes their push, just as long as they as they are competitive when they do... and that they are consistent in improving the product with or ahead of the competition.

We could forget about webOS for 5 years and if HP has it competitive with the iPhone10 it could still be good move. By that time, we'll forget about the time when people installed apps on their phones. Nearly everything will be browser-based like today's laptops and desktops.

Ain't Wikipedia great. Instead of [missing] drivers, think [missing] App’s.

- And MS clearly increased Market Share by pre-installing Windows (and IE) on computers.

- Its all Market Share, and as near as I can see, HP/Palm as done it’s best to drive Market Share down (or fail to build it up). Be it lack of new products, or failing to keep their word with the OTA upgrade for the "Legacy" devices. Now with the Pre 3 “Planed for Summer” release.

Yes, market share is important. It's funny that you say "done it’s best to drive Market Share down (or fail to build it up)" as if they are similar things. The first is trying to fail and the second is trying to succeed, but failing.

I'll give you the lack of new products. However, that was to be expected when Palm announced that it was up for sale. I hope you weren't under the delusion that it was going to put out products while exploring a sale. I hope you weren't expecting that when HP bought Palm, the two companies would merge their resources overnight and new devices would appear. Sorry, that isn't the way things work. Take Yahoo for example. They announced that Microsoft's Bing is going to power their search way over a year ago and the search results still look like Yahoo's to me. And that's something that should be as easy as skinning a web page - merging software and hardware companies like HP and Palm is more difficult.

As for failing to keep their word with the OTA upgrade for the "legacy" devices, it is bad. HP apologized and said that they were going to do something to make it right. Not announcing what the something else is is also bad. We (legacy device holders) have reason to be upset at that. However, we can't blame lack of market share on that decision as you suggest. The lack of market share was there long before.

Again as for the Pre 3 "Planned for Summer" release, it's better than the alternative, which is not telling us anything. Some people like to pretend there's an alternative of release the thing in February, but business doesn't work that way.

FYI: You can still buy OS/2. It is now called eComStation.

I agee it would be profoundly stupid and contrary to all common sense for HP to give up on smartphones. However, it would also be profoundly stupid and contrary to all common sense to expect developers to create apps for Enyo/WebOS 2.0 with virtually no webOS 2.0 devices on the market. It would be profoundly stupid and contrary to all common sense to refuse to update legacy devices to the new OS so developers at least have SOME market for their apps (not to mention allowing the platform to fragment). It would be profoundly stupid and contrary to all common sense to hold an event 5-6 months before any anticipated release of products without ANY pricing, carrier or release date information (no, "coming this summer" doesn't count). It would be profoundly stupid and contrary to all common sense to unveil your cutting edge hardware then watch as the market passes you by with thinner, sleeker, and lighter hardware running the same specs.

I don't think HP is expecting developers to create Enyo/webOS 2.0 apps until the devices are out there. They are just making the SDKs available now so that developers can. Can we agree that it makes sense to have the SDKs out before the devices? Otherwise, you would say it would be profoundly stupid to release a device with no apps. You can't have things both ways.

I don't think is profoundly stupid to refuse to update legacy devices to the new OS... and I have one of those legacy devices. The devices might not have the power to run the new OS well. Such an update may require the approval of carriers who may not be willing to take on such a risk.

It is not profoundly stupid to hold an event 5-6 months before the anticipated release of a product, if you haven't released a significant update to a product in 18+ months. (I'm not counting Pre Plus, which had minor memory upgrade or Pre2, which wasn't released in a US carrier at the time). The company was under pressure to announce plans, and it was better that they did it the way they did than watch more people go to Android and iOS. I, for one, am content to wait for the Pre 3 now that I know it's coming. If it was April or May and they hadn't announced anything, I'd just have to move on Android.

People always seem to forget that there isn't a "release the product sooner" option for the company. The only choice they have is when to tell us. I'd rather they say it sooner rather than later. And "coming this summer" definitely counts as it gives me, the consumer, an expectation of when the device will be available. If they said, "coming in the future", that would have been profoundly stupid as it wouldn't give the consumer any kind of timeline.

People are expecting the iPhone5 this summer or fall. I could have told you that back in February. Give HP credit for telling us what the device will be ahead of time. Apple users should be upset with Apple for not giving them the same courtesy.

You should try to think through the consequences from an economic perspective and take off the hp-colored glasses. Updating pres to 2.0 creates a market for enyo. As you said, nobody should expect devs to create enyo apps until devices are out. Well, there's your opportunity. If you're telling me HP can't or won't because of carrier or technical reasons (when webOS internal was able to do it in a week, HP needs new coders and carrier relations crews). Failure to do so shows a total lack of appreciation for your currently installed user base because (1) we know it's rechnically possible, and (2) HP keeps touting 'scale as an advantage so use your scale to get the carrier certs necessary.

Which brings me to the second point: If you're announcing products, have something ready to actually announce- specific dates, carriers, something. Look at the other major announcements: Samsung pricing and release dates for their new galaxy tab 10.1, and pricing on the 8.9; Apple always has the products ready to go at announcement; Evo 3d carrier announced. What HP did was most insidious- here's some stuff you may want, but you can't have it now, we won't tell you when you can get it, and we won't tell you if you can even get it on your carrier when it's released.

Again, try to think from a business/economics perspective, not hp's party-line.

HP isn't giving up smartphones because smartphones are the future. Plain and simple

This is all so obvious that it's a shame Precentral had to write an article stating the obvious.

It's disappointing how much cynicism has formed in the comments these days.

Hi Cap;

That cynicism you see formed is a direct result with HP's "actions".

Ruby opens his clap and out comes the **** ....latest example his Engadget appearance.

Leo's trash talking in India another one.

To be honest... I guess this is the same phenomenon like when you are a fan of a sports team. Then you take part on ANYTHING and of course YOU are the only guy who knows how the team should have played, who should have been on the field etc...

And if anything bad is happening (or something that you think is bad) you start to talk bad about them and so on.

I really can't explain this in any other way.

So short: It's just the whining of the webOS-Fanboi!

The same guy who, when things start to look bright again chew at all the other OSes and behave as if this makes them any better than all the other people.

This thread shows why fanboys make bad business people. Look at Apple's market cap. Most of that is due to iOS products. Look at RIM's market cap. Most of that is from hansets many of which are enterprise sales. Now look at the number of countries where HP does business. Most of them are not mature handset markets with hundreds of millions of people most of whom will not be buying a smart phone for a while.

The game is only over in the eyes of analysts and fanboys some of whom are analysts. Yes, HP has been slow to deliver since it owned Palm. But once the strategies are in place the processes will follow which will allow a more consistent and speedy execution. When the Veer hits the market the road map for the Veer 2 & 3 will be in place then it's only a matter of execution before new products are seen since the strategy is in place. Same for the Pre 3 and TouchPad.

What some fail to appreciate is the fact that this rollout os bigger than a single product, has many more layers than what's visible and takes time to work through. It's more complex than simply HP + Palm = pick up where Palm left off.

HP still has a lot to do to catch up. However, there's no question that things will be better come summer.

This sounds like Ruby's 2010 roadmap that led to the company being sold off to the highest bidder.

I don't think Palm's products were sold in as many countries as HPs. I don't think Palm had HPs distribution.

It is certainly a very different situation than it was with Palm.

Ruby's roadmap died the day that Elevation had him hire a Wall Street firm to advise on selling the company. There was not going to be any investment on product after that in an effort to keep the balance sheet as tidy as possible for the sale. Let's face it, there was no product roadmap until well after HP closed the sale.

Matter of Execution, that is the issue. They excuse, not execute.

I'm starting to think they aren't even going to release the pre 3 and end up canceling it

What basis do you have for these thoughts? What's changed since the announcement in Febraury? It's not like HP said the Pre 3 would be here by early spring.

"It's disappointing how much cynicism has formed in the comments these days."

The Cynicism come from what has and hasn't come from HP. We were told in no uncertain terms that smartphones was not a priority with HP. So for months after we have no indication of development of new line of phones. What we get is stuff about 2 new tablets. Then a few weeks ago we get a sorry excuse for a debut event. All we have here are not ready for prime time devices and a tablet that won't be out for months. I'm not counting the Per2 in this since that was already out by that point.

Top that off that people were expecting a slab counter for the Evo and Iphone that wasn't there. Everything except the Pre2 are still vaporware. And all the Phones coming out along with the tablets from Apple ect. have been and will be out before the TP is out. Oh and thinner and faster to.

This along with other glaring blunders are why there is such Cynicism. Give us a reason not to be.... You can't and nobody can. Sad just sad.

All that is correct, you can ad HP's failure to follow through on explicit promises like no product announcements without ready to deliver devices and that legacy phones would get 2.0.

What has HP done since acquiring Palm to make me confident that it will support webOS, which is hands down the best OS, even in 1.4.5 guise, with state of the art hardware? Zippo.

My cynicism makes perfect sense, it is optimism that does not.

Here is your reason to chill out: Palm and HP is a great combination. A great OS company with a great (and huge) hardware company.

I agree, they will make mistakes. They already have. You are cherry picking examples though. No one is perfect. If you really try to be positive, I think you'll see HP taking this to amazing places.

If you can't, you could always go away for a year or two and then see how HP/Palm looks.

Those that are still optimistic seem to be blinded by a religious fervor that WebOS is The One True OS, Wielder Of Almighty Multitasking and Master of Cards. We may be in a Time of Tribulation but Rubio will come down from the sky on a White Horse with his Veer, Pre3 and Touchpad and smite Apple and the evil Droid and cell carriers will repent of their prodigal ways and beg the forgiveness of HP. In the end good will triumph and HP must be victorious. I love WebOS but I've lost the religion and HP does have a real chance to fail.

Listen, what one thing has HP or Palm done right after developing the Operation System? Nothing! They've missed production cycles, were slow with updates (so slow they've now given up), poorly marketed their device, they misspent the momentum and good press from CES, lost the interest of carriers, went to production with Pre2 but now are selling they at clearance sale prices.

The one saving grace for WebOS is that is an open system and WebOS Internals and Homebrew has kept it alive. A lot of good technologies fall to the wayside by lesser technologies (beta vs VHS, OS2 vs Windows, etc...).

In the end I would rather buy an evil iPhone or Droid and be sure that the device will be supported and remain useful via a vibrant App Catalog. It's just a device and not a religion and WebOS is a dying platform with a user base in Exodus.

The announcement that smartphones were not a priority has been rescinded. Since then HP has released the Pre 2 as well as announced two more smartphones. That's a total of three smartphones.

You say we got stuff about 2 tablets? I only saw HP announce one tablet with a couple of different storage sizes. So that's three smartphones, 1 released, to 1 tablet, 0 released. That is going to be your argument that they are giving up on smartphones?

From those numbers, a better argument could be made that they are giving up on tablets.

If we carry on that argument and they are giving up smartphones and tablets, then why are they putting all this promotion in webOS?

It seems like everyone here is disappointed with the results we've seen thus far and making a completely irrational conclusion that HP is giving up on smartphones.

That's like me being upset with my computer's performance and you concluding that I'm not going to buy a new BBQ grill. There's no logic to it.

And do you know why it was rescinded? Cause they realized they had just stepped in a Giant PR nightmare. A top exec just told the truth to the masses. And they had a cardiac.

Yes HP announced 1 tablet. It's been an open secret that a smaller 7 in tablet is to follow.

It's not being irrational, it's being frank and real about the situation we are in. We were burned by Palm. Now we get the corporate double talk from HP.

People are just to jaded at this point to blindly follow. Thing is this looks more like HP is still behind what should have been done 6 months ago. For a company with so many assets. It looks like they can't figure this out. Or more then likely are to corporate to figure it out.

Of course that whole quote was by CEO Mark Hurd, who is no longer with HP.

It's hard to put any weight about it today as we stand with a bunch of current and announced smartphones and only one announced tablet and zero announced PCs or printers.

If this REALLY was the truth, then WHY THE HELL SHOULD THEY CORRECT IT?!?

Why should they bother mobile customers if they are not going to deliver anything to them anyway? Why should they put webOS on their computers when there are only tablets to work with them? Why should they announce two webOS-phones on their big announcement and a lot of times after this?

The glass is half full!

The box-fight is about to start and those guys already shout to the trainer to throw the towel, because they don't like the way how the boxer is approaching the ring.

That's a great analogy.

I followed this article up until it got to two points:

1) I want a Touchpad specifically for the gym. It would be great to stream Netflix (or similar media) while on the treadmill/elliptical.

2) The 100 million device argument being applicable to smartphones is pointless. HP is counting shipping a PC with a webOS application and icon on the desktop as a "webOS-enabled device." These people are not likely to become webOS users, unless there's a compelling reason... like sharing information with their phone and their tablet. They could probably reach 100 million devices by just counting those icons and selling 0 phones and 0 tablets. If they are running into difficulties, they just put webOS on printers and there you go, 100 million webOS devices.

We should retire the 100 million number until they breakdown the specific device types: mobile, as an application on Windows, and as an embedded OS (printers and toasters).

Getting to 100 million devices is far simpler than that. If you go back to the end of the 2/9 Think Beyond event feed, you'll note that Todd Bradley spelled it out: 2 printers every second, 2 desktops or laptops every second, which he said totaled "more than 100 million devices per year". (The actual total is 126,400,000 devices per year, providing that ship rate doesn't change between now and the end of the year.) Then you add phones and TouchPads on top of that.

I happen to believe that HP's long-term strategy includes smartphones, but they certainly don't need them to get to their 100 million webOS devices. The real reason is that HP is morphing to a software and services company. Look who's heading HP and from whence he came. Consider their announcement that they will host a universal app catalog. Consider the announcement on the webOS developer site that apps developers code with Enyo will run, not only on all the devices Todd Bradley enumerated, but with "iOS, Symbian, Blackberry, and Android devices." Consider HP's purchase of Melodeo. Consider the beauty of a ubiquitous, cloud-enabled OS across, not only the enterprise, but all the homes and SMB offices that have HP devices. Is that a services vendor's dream or what? Take smartphones out of that equation and you just eliminated a major chunk of your cloud-services delivery platforms! Ain't gonna happen!

Can I have a Pre 3, please?(ed: Unlocked with T-Mobile AWS 3G compatibility.Fat chance, I know.) Forgive my longing...

I don't think hp is giving up on smartphones. They're new at this and management is trying to come up with a comprehensive strategy for selling cell phones, tablets and desktop/laptop computers. Two words come to mind: corporate sales.

hp seems to care more about getting the TouchPad out the door. But one has to understand where webOS is at. It's only barely above version 2.0 right now. The Pre 2 appears to be a stop gap, but at least hp claims it will offer 3.0 to those phone's owners. Hopefully the hardware for those products will be a better match for webOS. The sooner hp can bring the Veer and Pre3 to market the better. For the carrier-subsidized units, I would price each initially at $99 and $149 to compete with the Android phones.

Still, you have to wonder why they wouldn't have made the Pre3 4G, if they had any intention in keeping up with Android. Hmmmmm. But, then Kyocera didn't go 4g with the Echo either, so maybe I'm wrong. Then again, at least the Echo has a unique feature.

*rolleyes* There are NO 4G-Phones right now!

They are just not using LTE (and maybe not WiMax nobody knows), but they ARE using HSPA+ which gets almost the same speeds as LTE. And LTE and HSPA+ both don't reach the specified speeds of 4G... but both still are marketed as 4G.

techincally, there are 4G phones out there. the qualifications for "4G" have been lowered to make it a useless marketing term.

When people say 4G now, you might as well assume they mean "access to a faster network than my old '3g' phone."

And that is what people are upset with regarding to Palm. They should have had something that was "4G" ready because they are rolling out now.

However, with that said, I couldn't care less. The tech isn't mature enough, and "3G" is fast enough for me right now. In fact, I'd argue the web browser could be a bigger bottleneck.

HSPA+ IS faster than what actual 3G-Phones can do.In theory you can get up to 28 Mbit/s down and 11 Mbit/s up-speed.

It's not HSPA, it's HSPA+... On both the Veer and the Pre 3.

Just look here:
http://theunlockr.mobileunlimitedi.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/201...

And here:
http://images.intomobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Sprint4gtmo4g.jpg

Rubbage? Haha...

I wouldn't think it's a fail if HP focused on WebOs more and smartphones less. Market WebOS across multiple Smartphone manufactures. Like HTC gives you Android and Windows 7. Why couldn't HTC give you a WebOS phone. And once HTC does it, you know other Manufacturers will follow. Think BIG!!

In a nutshell, there are more people without smartphones than there are with smartphones.

THAT is the market share that they are going to work on grabbing, by creating an "ecosystem" of applications that integrate with their lives. There is plenty of room in the smartphone market for other players if you look at it that way.

By making things easy and integrated, you lead people to have all their stuff together on these different devices - so long as the carriers don't price people out of the market with data costs.

the problem with hp is that they left a guy in charge that is either in love with the pre form factor or he is very limited when it comes to smartphones form factor, as bad as this might sound the pre 3 will not sell very well, it is sad to say that there is far more talented people here in this site than there is on hp, i remember the contest we had here about who could make the best phone form factor and almost all of them where way better looking than the pre 3 which is a palm pre with a little bigger scren.

Who says that these will be the only phones? I bet you will have a Slab-Phone by the end of the year coming.

And I like the Pre-Form Factor. I'am not even sure if the Pre 3 is not too big for me... will have to check this before I buy it, otherwise it will have to be the Veer.

Any computer manufacturer that does not offer a line of smartphones may have serious problems in the years to come. Look at the evolution of the computer. Monsters that took up entire buildings to Units that would fit on a single floor of a building to units that would fit in a single room to units that fit in a cabinet to desktop units to laptop units to netbooks to tablets and smartphones. We can today carry with us in our hand something that is more powerful than something that use to take up an entire building. Eventually your device(whatever it is) will just be an interface with your computing network and you will communicate with your computer via voice. Smartphones are a bridge to that eventuality.

To me it seems that every serious phone/IT firm needs its own operating system, otherwise they become a mere hardware company with little added value, competing on price. WebOS has the potential of overtaking Windows, so letting WebOS devaluate would be a really bad decision.

Never mind, this Forum at Precentral is overrun by Shmocks. I guess it will be best to wait until the thunder passes and in a few months all the things will look much brighter.

"There is a strange rumor going around in the community how HP is planning on dropping their smartphone line ..."

What smartphone line? The pre2 is last years model and the Pre3 is vaporware. It's also a step behind all the other product on the market and will be an antique if it ever makes it to production. HP should do us all a favor and stop teasing us with product that is not ready to ship.

I really can't believe how badly HP has botched this whole acquisition. Oh, but they bring scale and can do what Palm couldn't due to their lack of resources. What a joke. If I didn't care it would be a laugh. It's a shame to see how badly this has gone from day 1. Who wants to buy a phone without any decent apps? They've even fallen behind Windows Phone which didn't exist when HP bought Palm. Go ahead, tell me where I'm wrong.

So really then.. Palm is Dead right?....Android wins?

Sadly at this point yes.

"Android wins?" Is this a war? Is Android evil? Are we on a crusade again the evil duo of Google and Apple?

Android, iPhone & WebOS devices are just that... devices. Customers choose which device they like, decide which provide the features they like at the price points they are willing to pay.

WebOS is loosing for the simple reason that:

1) They haven't marketed they well... EVER. Heck even the stupid VIPSTORE spammers on this site have better marketing the Palm
2) They are not marketing AT ALL NOW. So no consumers naturally wants one.
3) Since late last year until this summer (at the earliest) you "practically" CAN'T BUY ONE.
4) Only nerds (like you and me) even know you can buy a Pre2 but now either won't buy another WebOS device or are waiting for a Pre3

So Yes, Palm is dead unless HP can find it's pulse.

this sums it up so well. I've seen a handful of product placement for the original Pre, but it got nowhere really.

And now, I see it for the touchpad and veer/Pre3... wtf is the point if I can't buy it?

I love the OS. I love the form factor. I'm a day 1 advocate and user. But even I am tempted to just buy an EVO 3D when it's out. The biggest thing holding me back is dealing w/ a 4.3" screen.

Also, HP has said numerous times they'd "make things right." WTF does that mean?

First HP has made smart phones they were Windows based and suffered because of that. Actually the iPaq phones were well received by the businesses that used them. HP never marketed them well and they had almost no consumer push. It seems they were part of a package deal with HP, also they did have competition from Palm and RIM which both were better in their day.
Now, HP buys Palm and webOS. I want to come back to webOS but am afraid that if it does not sell well it will be dropped. HP as the pockets to do this, plus webOS can be adapted to do other things so they can still make money from their Palm investment. Before I jump in, I will wait. HP faces stiff competition from Apple and RIM in the tablet area and Apple has a huge lead and RIM will have a better head start. Hopefully HP will spend on advertisements and help with good promotions to get these products out and into peoples hands so that they see them. If not, the phones go the way of the dodo........

HP phones needs more memory storage. 8 and 16 gigs will not store all of my content in the future. All they need to do is put a microSD slot in one of them and thats it, more storage. HP needs to do their homework next time !!

I bought two original Pre's a little over a year ago. Now HP no longer supports my device. I have to pay to get newer phones for supported upgrades. This is setting a precedence that encourages me to shop elsewhere. Why buy another WebOS device if it won't be supported in a year. HP needs to work on keeping current customers as well as woo new ones. Oh, I forgot, they don't make money unless they sell me a new phone... Could have had my money on two new pads if I felt better supported. What's that? You won't take my money right now for two new pads?

Good luck with that....

Has HP done any phones yet? I'm sure Pre2 was in the works before HP bought Palm, because of the timing. Am also pretty sure they had to doctor it a bit before release.

So the Pre3 would in essence be the first HP WebOS phone, wouldn't it?

This is what I expect WebOs will be in the future: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38&hd=1

Should the Pre3 come to Sprint with 4G, I will be VERY tempted...

BUT they really need to ADD A DEDICATED NUMBER ROW TO THE KEYBOARD!! Seriously, there's plenty of room for one more row of keys, especially on the Pre3. I'd prefer a horizontal slideout keyboard like the Samsung Epic, Touch Pro, etc., but the vertical one would still be fine, just ridiculous to have to press and hold a function key every time you wanna type numbers.

Anyway, I switched to an Epic 4G last winter, but will gladly go back to WebOS if HP has #1 made the OS much faster than the slow-moving sloth that it was, #2 give it to Sprint, and #3 (okay, optional, but a strong preference) the keyboard improvement.

WebOS really is elegantly designed - much easier to use, it was just too inexcusably slow on the old Pre.

Hope Pre 3 will change everything. I bet it will. I'm an old Palm user, and I stopped having interest in it since no phones were sold for several years, so old Palm applications need to be upgraded for the Pre family. I am awaiting Pre 3 to decide my return to Palm and be a WebOS user, faster connection is unavoidable, marketing for sales need to be conseider.

i don't really believe on the ios that the iphone are using. since iphone operating system crash is the most common problem of the 3rd generation and 4th generation iphones. is this a real bug? or just a part of the business since there is not way to have the issue resolve unless you download the ios software and paid for it. i'm happy with the webos phone the HP has, coz they have there webos doctor for free..

yes HP phones are great...but since some of the user has a huge file to save and carry anywhere..what if they put a sd memory card slot..that would make them more great

UPDATE - No Pre 3 for Sprint so it seems that HP phone are going to be exclusively offered on AT&T and perhaps Verizon, joining the legion of Android, WP7, and iPhones already there. It looks, to me, like HP is giving up on smartphones. I think they would definitely fall under the category of profitless revenue that Leo Apothecker is dead-set against.

The subject of WebOS smartphones reminds me of the Betamax/VHS race. The better format died because it didn't get adopted first. I predict it's already too little, too late for WebOS Smartphones, unless you have a Touchpad (I will not).

As a Pre- user on Sprint, it's pretty easy to jump ship. Will we return someday? It will mean another change in 2 years, by then Android will be more polished, so we likely won't have a reason to return. Prove me wrong HP!

DOH! I guess the rumor was right. I hope html tastes good Tim because you just ate your own words.