HP keeping webOS a real possibility – what could that mean? | webOS Nation

HP keeping webOS a real possibility – what could that mean? 139

by Derek Kessler Tue, 08 Nov 2011 9:46 pm EST

Tonight’s all-hands meeting proved one thing: HP CEO Meg Whitman was not kidding when she said she was going to consider all options and take a “holistic” approach to deciding what to do with webOS. According to reports from the meeting, Whitman is leaning towards keeping webOS, telling the employees that she wouldn’t be telling them to stay if she were going to get rid of webOS, and even if that were the case they would “find something to do with you.”

So today’s meeting was mostly to assure the crowd that webOS isn’t going to be unceremoniously dumped, and at the very least they’ll still have jobs at HP if they want them. But if HP is to keep webOS, what does that mean going forward?

Tablets. HP’s focus upon buying Palm was tablets, and if they decide in the coming weeks to keep webOS, that’ll be their focus going forward. Smartphones are a maturing market, and while there’s still enormous growth potential, it’s a hard market to break into (see: webOS). Tablets, on the other hand, might be dominated by Apple, but the size of the market right now is comparatively tiny. HP knows that tablets are going to be a huge segment of personal computing in the coming years, and who is to say that it has to come down to Windows 8 vs. iPad? One thing's for sure: we better not see the TouchPad resurrected. There's too much of a stain (of cheapness and failure) on that product and name.

No Phones. Leo Apotheker’s decision to surprise the world and kill webOS did some really bad things to HP’s relationship with wireless carriers. Verizon and AT&T were gearing up to carry the HP Pre3, with the AT&T launch likely to happen very soon after. But canceling webOS hardware development led to the cancellation of those contracts and the scuttling of the near-term hopes for webOS phones. Plus there’s the reality that while webOS 2.2 is a nice operating system and serves the webOS community well, it simply can't compete against Apple's iOS 5 and Google's Android 4.0. Tablets are going to be the future of webOS for some time, with the plan likely going along with what Google did for Android – 3.0 was for tablets only, 4.0 will split across tablets and phones. Said Whitman when somebody asked about webOS phones: “things get complicated.” And yes, this makes us exceedingly sad.

Mea Culpa. HP keeping webOS would cap one of the greatest corporate reversals in history. This would be up at the level of New Coke. Whitman’s pushing ahead with reversing what damage of Leo Apotheker’s that she can, and she’s still accessing whether or not webOS is salvageable. We like to think that it is, but a decision like this isn’t easy.

Big Money. And here’s the main reason why it isn’t easy. And it’s the main reason HP under Apotheker gave up on webOS: it will take a lot of money to build up webOS. We’re talking billions upon billions of dollars. That stands in stark contrast to the possible “hundreds of millions” HP could net by selling webOS. But the profit potential is enormous, which takes us back to why HP (then under Mark Hurd) bought Palm and webOS in the first place. It’s has to be a massive long haul investment, which Whitman seems to recognize. The question is whether or not she’ll decide the profit potential is worth the risk.


Being a WebOS fan is like being a Cubs fan: “There’s always next year….”


The future is what they do with PC's being done with Touchpad like devices.

Make Web OS the only OS available, but then allow the customer to customize and build "their" Touchpad (or whatever you call it) device just like their PC devision.

Pick your CPU, your GPU, how much memory you want, the size of the hard drive, what color, etc. etc. etc.

I don't understand why they haven't figured that out yet. Make the price very competitive and they will sell millions of these, just like when Dell started that trend in the late 1990's.

It's a no brainer to me.

That would be very nice.

More likely is that PSG builds multiple tab form factors, offering users Windows 8, Android or webOS as an option. Shades of when Windows (MS-DOS, PC-DOS) wasn't bundled with the hardware. Would you pay extra, and annually, to have webOS as an option?

That's not a half bad idea.... The HP Flex, now available in Windows 8 (+$60-120), Android ($Whatever the **** MS will sue HP over.), or HP webOS (Free).

Nobody has made that yet... a tablet you can customize.

Tablets are not like PCs - or even Laptops.

When you order a PC at Dell you had many options. When you ordered a Laptop you had a few (internal) options - and those have been reduced over the years.

A PC has big case, contains mostly air and has standardized expansion slots. PCs where designed to be expanded and have the room to do it in.

Laptops are designed to be compact. The cases are compact and not designed to me expanded. Most sellers don't provide any modification options for laptop models (just a series of models).
And getting the thermal distribution and flow right for a laptop is not easy.

Tablets are even more compact and the design is even more restricted by the form factor.

A few combinations of CPU, RAM and storage would be possible - but the on-demand design would add extra cost at a time when costs per unit are under intense pressure. And most of the combinations are irrelevant. The one variation that matters in practice is storage - and that's being varied by having 2 or 3 models.

TL;DR: Unlike with the much bigger PCs - user option for tablets are neither practical nor cost effective.

Very true, if you assume tablets must be designed a certain way. However, as noted here and elsewhere, the Touchpad was designed like a PC. This makes sense, since it was probably something PSG had in the works prior to the Palm acquisition. In retrospect, the hardware design failed in the general market because it was conservative, and corners were needlessly cut to reduce cost.

If HP decides to get back into the device business, they really need to "Think Beyond". Some serious work needs to go into non-metallic materials. The results can be leveraged across a bunch of devices where weight, not how thin, is the critical factor. HP owns the memristor technology. Why not use it to replace both DRAM and flash?

"HP owns the memristor technology. Why not use it to replace both DRAM and flash?"

...I don't know, maybe because it is not market-ready?

Having a working prototype in your test lab goes a long way to have a mass-produced thing ready to be sold & supported... er, we are talking HP here, they do not bother with things like customer support anymore, so maybe that is a non-issue, actually.

If HP were planning on keeping and developing for webOS THEY WOULD SAY SO.

They are losing money everyday there is no decision. The reason there is no decision is because they haven't found a buyer for the price they want.

My guess has always been they will absorb webOS and use it for enterprise purposes. I still think that, because it's more valuable to HP than selling it.

But bringing it back to the consumer market? It's incredibly obvious that ain't happening.

Straight Up Now [HP] Tell Me Do You Really Wanna Love Me Forever... Oh, Oh, Oh

Or Is It Just A Hit And Run...

We Had A Good Thing, Don't Know If Imma See You Again...

But Is That A Good Thing? Cause Girl I Can't Be Your Man, No Ma'am...

I Know What's On Your Brain, You're Probably Hopin' It Never Would End...

Like Is It The Real Thing, Or Is It Just A One Night Stand

"My guess has always been they will absorb webOS and use it for enterprise purposes."

..yeah, that is possible, because I do not exactly think there's a queue of webOS buyers at their doors, HOWEVER...

...what "enterprise purposes" are you talking about? Pre3 makes a wonderful, and I mean it, a wonderful work/enterprise smartphone (with all the rough edges/bugs in the present version). But that is a PHONE. Phone first. I would have NO use for it in anything else in my company, other than a great, great smartphone. What use is for webOS alone? I do not have a slightest clue.

It's biggest value is on "enterprise-slash-consumer"-targeted phones (because a worker is also a consumer). And flops like the Veer, are just making me cry about the stupidity of their decision-makers/marketing. Phone with the screen size/resolution/physical dimensions/keyboard of Pre 3, is a wonderful tool, for actually using it PRODUCTIVELY. Then, MAYBE tablets, a distant second from the NEED point of view. For consumers - hardly...

And that would be it. webOS software alone is completely pointless.

At least Cubs fans can hang their hopes on Theo Epstein turning things around in the next few years.

Meg Whitman is no Theo Epstein.

HAHA, typical Cubs fan.

To go offtopic...

The real winner there is Theo Epstein. At least Cubs fans won't expect much from him. Epstein gives the Red Sox two (TWO!) World Series titles after an 86 year drought, and the Red Sox fans suddenly thought they traded places with Yankees fans and expected to win every year. Then it just took one bad month for Red Sox fans to run him out of town. Red Sox fans, what a joke. Hopefully this is the start of another 86+ year drought.

And no, the Cubs still have no hope.

HP keeping webOS a real possibility – what could that mean?

It simply means: "Damn, we cannot sell it, nobody gives a **** Okay lets pretend that we will be doing something special with it" :)))

I'm not sure how you can say the profit potential is enormous. It seems that all the webOS tablet has done for HP is create massive losses. I'm trying to see where the profit comes from given that the non-iPad tablet market is shaking out at $200-$250. Where is the profit in that? Even smartphones will make you about $500 per unit.

All it's done? Seriously? They gave the TouchPad 49 days. It's a long haul high volume deal, and Meg knows that. Selling for as long and as little as HP did will never equal profit.

HP was also in the best position to monitor their sales during those 49 days and given their extensive experience in this kind of hardware one has to assume that they knew exactly where they stood with TP retail sales.

If they really decide that they want to get this thing ramped up again for Summer/Fall 2012 then they have to know how terribly far behind they will be. The tech world is being bombarded with tablets these days. Just like smartphones a couple of years ago - not everyone can survive. The TP may be in danger of becoming the Pre of the tablet world.

Did they also know how crappy the hardware was prior to release? They shot themselves in the foot releasing a buggy, slow, and large device to a market that is completely opposite of that.

What did they really think was going to happen?

crappy software, underutilizing good hardware.

Good point.

Based on the HP patent filing, the Touchpad is a design that HP had in the can very shortly before or after the Palm acquisition. Maybe they realized it wasn't competitive as an Android device, and thought webOS would be the game changer.

The processor/GPU combo running the Touchpad has been proven in benchmarks to to be more powerful than the Tegra 2 running every Honeycomb tablet (you know...the ACTUAL number two tablet platform?).

"HP was also in the best position to monitor their sales during those 49 days and given their extensive experience in this kind of hardware one has to assume that they knew exactly where they stood with TP retail sales."

one would think they knew where they stood in terms of PC hardware as well, and they opted to abandon that market too. Leo wanted out of hardware and that was the decision irregardless of sales numbers.

Just because HP decided to hang on to the PC business doesn't mean it's a good thing. PC margins have eroded to almost nothing. The tablet business will require a tremendous investment to try to come from behind. HP is not in a good position. Think RIM. It can always get worse while you flounder around.

Sales were low because of lagginess in the OS (a fixable software problem as patches have proven) and because the tablet was overpriced. They gave up before making an honest attempt to fix either problem.

Sadly, you don't get it either..

it means, Whitman decided not to leak things before they happen Like Leo, so she kept her mouth shut like Ruby. Plus her comment, about not being in the phone business is a death nail for webOS.

...exactly, trying to push tablets without having any foothold in a smartphone market, is (and always was) just silly.

Phones are something that regular people NEED to make money. webOS in the Pre3 package, is hands-down, the most productive smartphone I've ever owned. And I have owned quite a few, past last good few years, including latest and greatest droids. Also, they would get them subsidized from carriers, so it is easier buying decision.

Tablets... are something, that people might WANT (and EVENTUALLY), when they realize their smartphones does so many wonderful things, but it would be much better if it was doing them on a bigger screen.

That is how it works, mostly. Certainly, it worked for an iPad, and for how many/little droid tablets are being sold.

Whitman is trying to squeeze the value out of webOS

Turn webOS in to a cloud platform.

Best thing for webOS is to strike a deal with Google,like Nokia-Microsoft, Google supply with email, calendar, maps, apps from android market, in-return webOS sell itself to devil and develop a skinned webOS version of android. I would hate that version, but can live with google maps, email and calendar that works better than anything else.

google calendar better than webOS' build-in one, or (God forbid) homebrew-patched ("more snooze times") one? Seriously...

but gMail, definitely is better, with webOS' email app still lacking threaded view, that is really appalling...

google/bing maps, both sucks, in places where you actually DO need them (in the sticks), there is usually no coverage anyway. Offline mapping solution is the only one RELIABLE solution on a mobile device. Online ones are just flashy toys

I'm sorry, but I have zero interest in sticking with WebOS if its going to be a tablet only platform. WebOS needs to continue to be a phone OS if its going to survive.

I currently have a Pre Plus and a Touchpad. If I end up with an Android phone, I'll end up with an Android tablet.

I respect your opinion and Im sure having webOS phones will help alot. But I own and android phone and a touchpad. And I really dont like android and love the webOS Touchpad. Its the first webOS product I have used and like it over android a hundred times.

I agree with all that you said, but I still want my phone to work well with my tablet.

Having the same OS on both is a huge advantage. Is it really wise to try to complete against Apple and Google and allow them that advantage?

Not to mention that smartphones are FAR more ubiquitous, portable, and versatile than tablets. Apple's iPad sales will almost always pale in comparison to iPhone sales.

my daily phone is a WP7. But I have a Pre+ and a 32gb Touchpad. For me the phone market for webOS is over. But the TP works fine for internet, e-mail and gaming.

So does a phone..

..so does my rooted Nook Color, so will do other soon-to-be-released, sub-$250 android tablets, or sub-$400 Android 4.0 ones, coming this year in abundance...

webOS phone, in the form of Pre3 (all it's rough edges that were inevitable given the comatosed platform), is where you start to realize how much you HATE Android 2.x.x (system) experience. There it is where it really shines, and allows you to do things quicker and with pleasure.

But I don't know if the same will hold true after ICS update... It is getting closer to webOS than ever in UX, and other advantages it has, are enormous. I do not think they are up to the job of keeping in pace (long/short or mid-term) with Android/WinMo/iOS teams.

it doesnt mean **** hp keeps feeding the bs and i keep eating it. believe it or not, webos staying with hp will never succeed. cut your loses, either sell it or kill it

If webOS is to become tablet only, it will need to be enterprise based. If I am relegated to an iPhone, I will want my tablet to be iPad. If my phone is an Android, I will want an Android tablet.

Tablet only doesn't appeal to the masses, and the masses are where the profits are.

If HP were planning on keeping and developing for webOS THEY WOULD SAY SO.

They are losing money everyday there is no decision. The reason there is no decision is because they haven't found a buyer for the price they want.

My guess has always been they will absorb webOS and use it for enterprise purposes. I still think that, because it's more valuable to HP than selling it.

But bringing it back to the consumer market? It's incredibly obvious that ain't happening.

HP still isn't listening - Tablets are fun, but we Need the new phones.

If they are forcing us to pick a new OS for phones - then I'll match the Tab OS I MIGHT get for fun with the Phone OS I get because I NEED.

So WebOS fails again, and then Leo etc gets the last "I told you so"

Lets see HP "Double Down" on webOS, and release the Pre3 - on All major carries (Through in US Cellular and Cinti Bell too). Lets see some of the new 'slab' phone that were rumored too.

If they get enough support to finish webOS, listen to what the customers want, then Market it, it would stand a chance.

But not with a half baked 'Tablet only' effort.

Esp with Win 8 coming in on top of the Andriod and iOS tablets to compete with

I agree with you we need phones even the Pre3 everybody wants (die for) a Pre3, HP keep loosing money they must ship phones for all around the world and we would see what happen.

Stupid decision shut down production, no reason to do that.

Nobody understand HP, nobody, even they don´t.

How the webOS auction is going...


The product will be the "HP Go!" It will be a 7" tablet with specs basically the same as the Touchpad Go, except reduced here and there to cut costs (e.g. less storage). The goal will be to create a tablet they can sell under $250. They will drop the Touchpad name.

They will also look into partnering with a content company. But this is a challenge, since Amazon and Barnes and Noble have their own tablets already. Maybe Netflix? A magazine company? Who knows. But something that will provide a secondary revenue stream in any case.

Personally I don't see it really working without the phone component, but I could be wrong. In the meantime I've got my Pre3.

Actually there is a Kindle app for the TouchPad, so the partnership seems to be there already, no doubt that partnership would go on with the Go.

Correct, Amazon etc would be interested in users buying media (books. music, video etc), regardless if it comes froma kindle, android or webos device - thats why the Kindle kit is so cheap (sell it at a loss, get the punters spending on consumable media) - what a good idea ...HP?

Sounds dumb enough. HP might go for it.

Now, this is just a shot in the dark but is it possible HP will take advantage of thier relationship with Microsoft to release a Windows Phone with a webOS skin? Microsoft has already shown a propencity to allow hardware manufacturers to tweak their OS as long as they don't mess with the core. What would be better than putting webOS on top of the ecosystem already built by Microsoft? It gives HP a unique way to differentiate its device from the others while letting Microsoft do all the heavy lifting.

Aside from using "cards", the design principles and workflow of WP7 and WebOS are night and day.

that would work & be a good plan 4 exposure but they still need to solve the hardware problem and get to the market with new innovative phones that compete or set standard, slabs, keypads, whatever else we can use it on (finally toasters lol)...

As far as I know HP let Palm basically run unimpeded. Now that HP has first hand knowledge that Palm was a dud, I wouldn't be surprised if webOS sees new life with actual HP designed hardware instead of the Palm holdovers.

It really amazes me how HP continues to wear blinders regarding phones. If they're saying that they want to take a year off to develop one outstanding OS ready to take off for phones, then I'm ok with that. If they are saying that they want to dump phones altogether, then just sell webOS already and move on. In a world where manufacturers are rushing to the iOS model (phone and tablet running the same os), HP is going once again in the opposite direction. Even Microsoft realized that they needed to have the same look and feel from phones to pc's. As terrible as MS is with phones, even they get it.

HP, for the love of all webOS users out here - please stop ditching the phones and release a big, rock-solid slab already!! (less moving parts are a good thing!)

As all we should know (but not) TouchPad has been a completely success, many could say it was due to the fire sale, but who would buy a cheap product which is not good enough to use it as a Tablet??, which is really ugly and bad??, I don´t, I love my TouchPad and maybe the Ipad has another features but never would change my TP and is not a bad product, I agree with Derek about the TP name because was not the most suitable (we expected PalmPad)but we heard that HP always wanted erase the Palm brand and we have never known why, but we hate HP since then.

Facing the True, all Tablets has had the same problem, lower sales than expected, but it is due to the high prices (comparing with netbooks) but not for the quality or even for their features, to me Apple products are just marketing illusions but they sale that.

Stupid Leo considered all WebOS products as a failure at the very beginning and afterwards everybody was talking about the TP as a bad Tablet due to low sales (Jeez)something that made me really pissed off, it is not fair.

It's going to take a while for HP to recover from the damage that Leo did, regardless of their strategy going forward.

From Meg's speech, it sounds like she has the confidence to make up her own mind about HP's direction and come up with a plan - hopefully she has the long-term support of the board to carry it out.

I'm not so sure the Touchpad name is a loser (and should be dumped). Though it initially had bad reviews from industry/trade sites, the fire-sale built huge name recognition for it and the SW improved a lot with 3.02 and 3.04 and some key tablet apps are now available (Kindle/Zinio). The continued instant sell-outs (admittedly at low prices) mean there is a demand for the product at a decent price. From a business model perspective, HP would have to figure out some way to subsidize the initial price similar to how Amazon and Barnes & Noble are doing. WebOS isn't unique in this regard - all non-iPad tablets are having trouble selling above cost (Android tablet sales are weak too).

Phones are complicated because HP needs a strong HW partner like Nokia is for Microsoft (and would need to license webOS). HP could use an ODM model for phones but reestablishing relations with carriers for HP phones would be difficult. I think you are right that the webOS 3.x line would need to be reworked to be on phones - this makes sense and probably wouldn't be as hard as some assume given that slab phones are dominant and that tablets and slab phones have a similar interface (i.e. no webOS gesture area like 2.x phones expect). The webOS team was already working on a slab phone (that was never released - Stingray) though it probably included a gesture area like other 2.x phones.

The investment needed to keep up with iOS and Android is real - the industry isn't standing still. In addition to a Siri like interface being leading edge, Microsoft's Kinect (or Nintendo's Wii) represent some innovative work that we'll see more of going forward too.

Anyway, I'm somewhat encouraged but not really expectant about the final decision.

I couldn't agree with you more. The reason there are so many of us that care about Palm/webOS is because of the PDAs/Phones. Having used the Pre2 (a FrankenPre2), for three or four months now, and seeing what people have said about their experiences with the Pre3s, I'm not even convinced that HP is incapable of making the phones if they wanted to. It all comes down to the resources devoted to something.

I'm pretty sure that Leo was dyslexic, and from the time he came on board thought that webOS was jewOS and as a German could do no more than show apathy as it was being killed, if not actively participate in its demise.

I think that HP figured out in August what it would take to really make it work. It obviously involves some degree of risk. If Meg decides to back it, either because she truly believes in it or she's forced to believe in it because they can't sell it for an acceptable price, she'll make sure that they devote the resources to give it a better chance of success, even if all she does is visibly support the platform. She obviously has significantly better communication skills than her predecessor.

Which brings us back to the phones. In the short term HP will have to take a hit in order to repair relationships with the carriers. But she can go do Dan Hesse and his VZW, and ATT counterparts and say, "I know Leo screwed you. He was retarded. In fact he's a distant relative of Jerry Sandusky. And of course German. If you sell our phones we'll absorb all the risk. If they flop, we'll set up the contracts so at worst you all break even. But the OS is good. Some of the hardware wasn't. We're going to make the software better, we have a bunch more apps than we used to and we're going to exponentially increase our resources for developers and either we'll figure out how to make better hardware or pay HTC, Samsung, Sony, or some Chinese company you've never heard of to make better hardware for us."

The carriers may have been burned before, but in the end they'll make decisions that are going to make them money. If they succeed in creating the webOS phone we think can be built (granted a monumental if) the rest will fall into place.

:) I love your comment, and agree wholeheartedly. I also agree that chances are slim to none for this to happened

That kind of bigoted commentary is really unnecessary.

Which part did you object to? The part where I accused him of being Learning Disabled, a Sexual Predator, or German?

Its a great comment, but the chances of Meg and HP doing things right are very slim. With all the selling power and financial muscle they had they could have and should have done so much better with webOS.

I think it boils down to vision, and the HP board seems to have none. You'd think that being on the board of a giant company like HP would mean by default that you were there because you have a view of the future of the electronics industry, or some pretty impressive ideas of where the company should go. Or, that you weren't happy with just the status quo, you'd always be pushing for something to differentiate you from the rest of the companies out there... But alas that dosen't seem to be the case here.

I run a small company, have for 25+ years. We offer things that our competition never dreamed of, we're consedered the best there is, and still I want us to do and be better. I don't care what the competition is doing, they're in my rear view mirror and I'm looking ahead all the time.

The HP board seems to be driving with their eyes on the mirrors all the time. Considering that those guys probably make more than my entire business does it makes me scratch my head and think of "The Peter Principle: An indevidual will be promoted to the lowest level of their incompitence." In other words, you are great in a given position and you keep getting promoted until you are no longer great, in fact you are a nincompoop and there you languish, at the 'lowest level of your incompitence'.

All very sad.

This past Saturday, I went to Best Buy and purchased an HP desktop computer, because our old one was needing replacement, and I also bought a WebOS 32GB Touchpad for $149, as advertised. This was a fantastic deal, as I bought the AMD A8 processor with 1.5TB harddrive and 8GB RAM. All this for about the same price as an HP running with i5 or i7 intel processors.

Another man with his wife came into the Best Buy at the same time, and they too were looking for an HP computer. However, they didn't know about the Touchpad deal, and when I told them, the wife bought it for the husband and said she was going to hold it for him till Christmas.

I think the bundling strategy is good, especially with Christmas coming around the corner. Maybe this will help them recover their costs on average.

I now have a total of 4 Touchpads for the family, and we plan to give 1 away for Christmas. We have been very happy with the Touchpad. I only wish there was a camera on the back and an expansion slot, but the updated software allows you to use the 1.3 MP front camera, which is fine for basic pictures. The key really would be to have an expansion slot. Does anyone know how to expand this with out destroying the touchpad?

I agree. Lots of griping here about cheap TouchPad materials, etc; I love mine, so much I got another for my wife. The whole point is cheap materials. I don't want something worth $600 or a thousand bucks that gets destroyed with one drop. $150-$250 is about right to spend on something that is mostly used for web surfing, music while I work, and kid-parking (and is my alarm clock now!)

If other people want to spend top $ on the Apple experience, then more power to them. I'd rather buy an American-designed but cheaper consumable product so I can spend bigger $ on vacations for fun in the sun! The fact that webOS is the best UI is frosting on the cake.

um, apple is also american-designed.

But almost none of the Android tablets are and they are even more expensive.

I have offered my response on Youtube. http://youtu.be/UZd82Q0_Fuw

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a phone call from HP offering you a job.... if this is your way of applying to companies, let me give you a little tip.... its not a good idea to drop the F-bomb while interviewing for a job.

Good luck in your search however...

I'm sorry to dissagree, but I don't think there's a real chance of HP keeping webOS...running. This doesn't mean I'm ok with it

For me, they either don't have any buyer, or if they have, they're just stalling to see if any other appears, to let them bid. I even think the Oracle rumor is just their plan to lure Google, or someone else. And if they don't sell it's because they don't have a buyer, which still means they're closing the business and just keep the patents

My hope? Google believes the Oracle rumor, buys webOS to dodge another lawsuit, and gives it back to it's real owner, Matias Duarte, to let him build Android "a la webOS" (and crush Apple in the patent war, just for fun)

I believe there is a real chance.

webos does not exist by itself. It was bought by HP as part of a strategy. The consumer business needed a mobile solution and webos was the answer for that.

When HP decided to get out of the consumer business - webos was suddenly no longer a worthwhile investment. Why invest into a multi-year strategy in an area you don't want to be in at all?

By reversing the decision to spin-off the consumer biz they are back to still needing a mobile solution to compete in the market. So last years motivations are back on the table. They need *something* and they already have webos.

All the options (webos, Android, WP7/W8) have ups and downs. It makes sense to carefully re-evaluate them.

Re-evaluating is fine, but WebOS was never successful, and now it has less momentum and bigger challenges than ever before. What, exactly, could they do differently? Build a superduper slab phone? Never mind that neither HP nor Palm has ever designed one or shown any desire to. Let's say they do.

Ok, great, so now they make an N9. And it'd probably have just as much impact.

I'm sorry to disagree, but this thing of the "global consumer strategy of connected devices" is just theatre for shareholders. They simply wanted to take their chance in the mobile industry, because it's were the notoriety is. And they failed, seriously damaging their own brand in the process

So their only chance would be to be resilient, just like Blackberry or Microsoft. Do not disappear, just be there for as long as they can, in case one of the big names falls. That's where the "billions upon billions" would be going. But if that happens, there are actually two better positioned platforms doing the same, so more waiting, and more billions upon billions.

I don't like it, but that's the situation, in my opinion

At his stage, I think HP is out of the mobile phone business, with webOS. I can see them using webOS for some low end (inexpensive) tablets to offset the more expensive corporate Slate's they make.

Then adding it to printers will probably happen. At some point, maybe a third party will license it and make some phones worth a **** as the Pre line and Pixi are a joke. I hate my Pre2 running on Verizon. Thing just doesn't work.

My Pre2 works pretty good, although the proximity sensor logic needs tweaking, as it sometimes gets confused at the end of calls when you try to put the phone down.

If yours doesn't work, have Verizon replace it.

I wish some mention of what if anything Rubinstein did at the meeting would have been mentioned. For all the griping about him, he has been a major innovator in a lot of tech, such as iPod, Pre, TouchPad. Would have been interesting to see if he is involved in a new direction for Palm (er, webOS) or not.

I think hp can make webos successful as a tablet only os. as long as they make it enterprise optimized, provide good contents and make it less expensive than the competitors.

Sure Verizon, AT&T and Sprint are bitter with HP, but what if Republic Wireless worked it out with HP and offered webOS phones.

Right now they only offer one phone, a cheapo LG Optimus S.

If HP struck a deal with Republic Wireless, I'm willing to bet many people would choose a Pre 3 or Veer over a low end Android phone.

Plus, Republic Wireless would probably see a lot of webOS faithful flock to their new brand.

In short. HP wins because the Republic Wireless customers may want something other than a LG Optimus.

RW wins because the webOS community wants a webOS phone and will go to the carrier that has it.

And then I win because RW is a super cheap plan and i get a webOS phone!

Wishful thinking.

Never heard of this carrier. Where would do you sign up? The grocery store?

Only at republicwireless.com for now... They call it "hybrid calling". Uses wifi when it can for calls, texts and data, then goes cellular when wifi isn't available.


You really want to flush webOS down the toilet then this is a sure move in that direction.

Plus, what would all those webOS faithful do when they found out that free tether would only allow them to do 300MB of data a month.

Read this over on P|C's sister site: http://www.androidcentral.com/republic-wireless-great-idea-thats-not-qui...

"While not on Wifi, you're limited to 550 minutes, 150 SMS messages, and 300MB data monthly while on Republic Wireless' 3G network."

That's not a bad plan *if* you are mostly on wifi anyway.

You bring up good points, but like tholap said, if you're using it mostly as wifi then you'll be fine.

In this article you get the feeling that any hope for a webOS phone on any carrier probably won't happen in the near future.

Which is why I think RW would've been a good home for it. People who would've flocked over to RW anyway would then have 2 choices, webOS phone or LG Optimus on Gingerbread.

If RW starts picking up steam because of its great rates, then I'm sure there will be some new webOS adopters, most of which probably won't be using free tether anyway.

But again, RW is a high risk start up company to go with. I'm just thinking of a way to get a new webOS phone in my hands and as many new hands as possible, not a "sure move" to flush it down the toilet.

HOW HARD could it be to build a thinner, lighter, not plastic, front-facing-camera-equipped Touchpad?
Instead of paying Gaga and stupid actors thousands of dollar, go PAY DEVELOPERS to bring Waze, What's Up, Netflix, Instagram and all the most popular apps to the Tablet.
And price it at least $100 under the iPad.

Its a no brainer.

imgreenlantern2's idea is GENIUS and at the same time so obvious and also (at the very same time in a pararell reality) strangely the first time I hear about it.

HP or next webOS tablet maker (if there is any) should utilize other designs already made. Why reinvent a design? Use Samsung or HTC design so costs are kept low. Make webOS work on their nonqualcomm chip sets (and advance/optimize webOS) and then you have a low investment tablet.

Of course you're assuming that HP has any brains at all. C'mon, you saw the picture of Leo with the top of his head hinged up and a fly buzzing out, right?

Yes, I too would like to have Netflix on the Touchpad!

I see HP keeping WebOS and licensing out the key patents and also the software to mobile hardware companies looking to differentiate themselves.

As I've stated in the past, they failed at the business model of trying to be the soup to nuts in mobile phones. HP doesn't have the ability or know how to develop mobile devices quickly. They will stick to their core competencies of personal computers and periferals. A touchpad would fall directly into this, and an HP/palm phone would not. Leave this to HTC, Samsung, etc.

We will see WebOS mobile phones again, but not till Q2 or later in 2012, unfortunately. Not unless someone says, we'll take over the Palm 3 and other development projects like Stingray. Then we could see something towards the end of Q1 2012. Heck, give them away with 2 year contracts for now, just like the Veer, until a next gen WebOS mobile device is ready for launch.

"We will see WebOS mobile phones again, but not till Q2 or later in 2012, unfortunately."

Bwaaaahahahahahaha!!! Hey everyone, new phones are coming in less than 8 months! Maybe even within 6 months!!! Nevermind the fact that HP basically killed webOS hardware development, won't put out updates for the Pre 3 anymore, and still haven't decided what, if anything, to do with the OS. NEW PHONES ARE COMING!!! Thanks OriginalPreOwner. You should probably inform Meg of your inside information.

no way... phones in 6-8 months would mean some super stellar big event today showing off some nice devices (by todays standards) and how they all play together so nicely in the same ecosystem.

You can get Netflix on the TouchPad. In fact you can have any program that runs on MacOS or Windows. So long as you have a computer somewhere that remains connected to the internet somewhere, there is a program called SplashTop that let's you screen share (with audio) any kind of computer. It's only limitation right now is that on the webOS phones you have to be on the same Wi-Fi network as that computer. But with the Touchpad version you can be anywhere, You can watch SlingPlayer, NetFlix, or run any program on your desktop you want to.

How is this even remotely a reasonable solution?

Longterm? Not a great one. But I think it is a mostly unknown current capability. To be able to fully utilize your desktop/laptop without having to carry it with you is awesome. It works better than my current Mac to Mac screen sharing because of the audio capability.

Bottom line is I have had a second phone for several years now solely for the purpose of being able to use my SlingBox. The fact that there is a way (even if it is an indirect one) is progress. If they can figure out how to make it work on the phones over 3G/4G that will be incredible.

OriginalPreOwner sated that he/she wanted Netflix on the TouchPad.. Just pointing out that he/she can have it.

"Yes, I too would like to have Netflix on the Touchpad!"

Then port CM7

It will offer you 10X's the entertainment you have now....


I am sad to say that I see an iPhone in the moderately near future (read: when the contract is up next year).

I don't really need a tablet at this point in time, because it just doesn't have enough work application for me yet.

That said, if they decide to keep webOS in tablet form, they will need to work hard to develop the ecosystem and then bring the phones back into the mix.

But regardless of what they do, they need to make sure that the releases are not buggy, half-assed things that just reek of failure. Get the hardware pipeline humming so that people don't have to wait months just to be disappointed while being left in competitors' smoke.

I never thought it would come to this, but my disdain for HP has eclipsed my long affinity for Palm.

I love webOS and the webOS community, but as long as HP owns webOS it's a doomed platform*

*unless they open source it

Exactly. HP has failed big time. They suck. They even failed to communicate clearly on this "all hands meeting". Great: keeping everyone from doing his/her work while effectively saying nothing.

I'm so fed up. Don't think I will stay tuned any longer. Sorry.

Yes you will. Who are you trying to fool?

I have to laugh at that. About one=ce a week aI promise myself "I'm done with this nonsense and I'm not coming back to this site!"

...until I do....

About "no phones"... Sure they've pissed off Verizon and AT&T, but America != World.

Maybe they can still launch phones in Europe. If they can make a success of that, they could use that success as a bargaining tool to get back in with the US carriers.

They didn't just fail to launch here in America. Carriers around the wold said no as well.

I know that carriers elsewhere said no to the Veer and Pre 3, but at least they haven't been dicked around likst AT&T and Verizon.

I don't understand why they keep saying the hp would net hundreds of millions if they decide to sell webos. Seriously? I hope he meant gross....

Tablets are cool and all, but I would trade my Touchpad in for a killer phone in a minute. My phone is always with me and my Touchpad isn't. Phones might not be as profitable, but the help expand the user base. Not everyone want's a tablet and those that do are likely to buy one that has an OS that they already have a vested interest in. Apples to Apples, Android to Android, etc. webOS still NEEDS phones to help it compete IMO.

could not agree more with Ohiomoto
phones are essential for the success of any tablet & the technologies HP brought with the Veer & Pre3 that concentrated on connecting their HPTP to these phones is a great leverage point for their products
this is where the bundle gets its power
concentrating on making phones & pads work together should be HP's priority
they are almost there
both the Pre3 & the Veer were good starts that need some polishing (TTS must be made to work with the Veer & Profiles between the two must be made interchangeable)
supporting a pad without a phone is not going to bring them success

For all the people saying that iPhone user = iPad user and Android phone user = Android tablet user think again. I have a Pre Plus that I occasionally switch from my Droid X to use. I also have a TouchPad. I love having my Droid X for the apps all that, but my TouchPad has the best flash implementation I've ever seen on a mobile device, we can all agree it has the best multitasking available today and it's just a fast and reliable device. Why can't it be justified to have a Droid and a TouchPad. When you get your next Windows "PC" and it's of the tablet form factor does that mean you'll buy a Windows Phone? For some, yes; for most, no.

In my opinion as the tech industry stands at the time of this writing the TouchPad is the best tablet all around.

iPad is essentially a big iPhone/iPod with some apps optimized to use the larger screen.

Android tablets that are of a quality price ($349+) are all the same, aside from some manufacturer mods.

The TouchPad is a dual-core 1.2ghz device that is faster than the Tegra chip in the Android tablets. It is the only device running it's operating system which means consumers arent confused when they ask the question, "What's the difference between the Galaxy Tab and the TouchPad?" as opposed to the question, "What's the difference between the Galaxy Tab and the Acer Iconia?"

We are all enthusiasts and those questions seem simple to us, but to Grandma and Grandpa buying their grandson a tablet, it's easier for them to see iOS, webOS, and Android. Multiple Androids = Confusing. iOS = just a bunch of pages of apps. webOS = intuitive multitasking, reliable browsing and all around fun.

If someone wants a tablet that has an OS different than their phone, I don't only accept it, I encourage it.

LOL @ Grandma and Grandpa (in general) even understanding what "intuitive multitasking" is. Like grandparents really go shopping for a "mobile OS".

Funny stuff.

Gotta hand it to you: at least you take the time to read everyone's comments in full.

Surely there are differences in opinions, but unfortunately this view is not the majority and right now HP has to play with the majority of the crowd if they want to stay alive.

Most people will want the same OS across devices today because you can be more familiar with them - but that's today.

Tomorrow will be different. I can assure you that these devices *will* be integrated together, far more than what the touchpad and pre3 were planning to do. Apple and Google have noticed it and they are working to integrate features and programs and they will work seamlessly. Having different operating systems for these two devices will eventually be a downside.

If they do decide to manufacture phones again, I would hope they would consider a slab phone: lower production costs, faster design and implementation cycles. I have a Pre 3 and an iPhone. The iPhone's hardware is incredibly well made, and seems to be a more solid product, something a slab has an advantage over a slider. Just a thought; the virtual keyboard on the iPhone is actually fairly accurate, and the screen size is similar to a Pre 3.
I think phones need to be produced as well, for apps and for gateways to buying tablets.

I think it makes sense to make a slab. But you will have to pry the portrait slider from my cold dead hands. The keyboard is one of the things that differentiates the Pre from so may other phones. And there will always be those of us who are much better typing on a physical keyboard. Having an effective voice to text system can abate some of the pain of not having a keyboard, but not all of it.
One of the neat things I have seen recently in looking at iPhone/iPad accessories for my wife, who jumped off the webOS ship after two years, are the thin bluetooth keyboards that can be snapped on to the phone. Perhaps this would make the engineering of the slider easier if it didn't have to have a wire connection to the guts of the phone.
Hopefully we'll have that choice someday.

I have to agree with those who state that WebOS cannot live in the consumer space as only a tablet... having like-phone and like-tablet make a great experiance and people are going to figure that out.

I have a Pre2 and Touchpad - I dont have to change the way I think about operation between the two- they flow together etc I love it.

My wife has Android phone and Ipad2.. I told her to get a iphone to match her ipad2 and she said no, that she liked different things... yeah...thats changed and she now wishes that she had an iphone to go with her ipad.

HP.... you do it all the way, or none of the way.. Phones and Tablets or sell the thing.

Why not rebrand WebOS as something else- most people are stupid and wont notice that whatever the new name is was WEbOS nor will they care.

I'm as big a webOS fan as the next nerd, but a TouchPad without a webOS phone just doesn't appeal to me. For me, the integration of the two devices (specifically being able to make calls and send/receive text messages) was what really differentiated the TouchPad from competitors. That and the awesome multi-tasking of webOS. I was semi-patiently nursing my Pre- along, waiting for a shiny new Pre3 on Sprint. Now I'm sporting an Android phone that doesn't completely suck, but still leaves me longing for my cards, swipe-to-delete emails and actually useful notification system. So, HP, go back all-in with webOS - phones, tablets, netbooks, cerebral implant chips, wristwatch communicators, roll-up flatscreen doodads, whatever. Make it big or sell of the damn platform for the IP value and let webOS rest-in-peace.

The article is dead-on. The tablet and a lite OS to run devices like this are key and HP knows the enterprise market is still not ready to only use iPads. One word, security.

Any phone will work more or less, yes I love my Veer and WebOS, but I'll use a different phone in the future.

I hope WebOS is a live and well on Tablets and other devices in the future, it's a good compromise.

Ms Whitman, thanks for bringing some sense back into the thought process at HP. Also respect for the employees and customers.
I'm not an employee, but own stock in HP. Leo's way was disrespectful to the staff and to it's customers.

Starting a pool: who wants to bet that the next all-hands meeting will be to schedule the next all-hands meeting after that one?

They keep doing that over and over again I could see some employees sending it to the spam folder.

There has to be a boat load of ATT Pre 3's sitting somewhere. They could entice them back with a good product and fire sale pricing to make up for the blunder. The phones and tablets have to go together and better than they do now. I love my Veer and like my tablet but I am disappointed that I cannot easily transfer data or use SMS better than it does. Tablet needs a USB port and be able to print to a network printer other than a few HP models. Little things but things that need to be fixed before a new global marketing campaign will succeed.

cannot believe i still check this site. no offense to you guys, doing a great job, but really...So sick of this S***. Onto Android, holy **** did not even know some of this technology existed. Was blinded by hopes of webOS actually competing. Good luck folks.

What technology r talkin about? Scanning a damn barcode? Get lost with ur android bs! I have a superior phone than u it's also called iPhone ;). But I don't even like it Becus it's not webOS!

This is me clapping.

Barcode scanner, yes you got it buddy. Only thing missing from webOS. Android kills iOS you tool.

I think the reason that Meg said "it's complicated" in relation to phones is because they have already laid off all of the phone hardware people. It seems like resurrecting that entire group at this point would be tough - and "complicated". Maybe I'm wrong - have those folks actually left yet?
Second, webos will always have a phone "edition" and a tablet "edition" just like iOS, but I agree that they need to be very close on the same release.
Third, HP has to get WebOS on their Touchsmart PC. Not a dual boot system, but I envision and always on WebOS that switches with the touch of a button. WebOS running on a desktop processor would fly. It would be an awesome experience - Apple is going to get their on their iMac's soon - HP can really beat them to the punch on this. Phones can follow soon.

Every time I have heard the term "It's complicated" from someone in upper level management, it has always been synonymous with "Not gonna happen."

"It's complicated" probably means that if neither or both of the top two carriers accepts an HP phone then they are dead in the water. There's no point in offering a package of integrated technology if your customer is on the wrong mobile network. That's what burned them already and I don't imagine they are planning on getting burned again.

Let's just say that there are a handful of proven companies in the smartphone hardware business. HP isn't one of them.

HP stick to the Tablet, Outsource for the phone side? Just throwing it out there even though other might already have.

"HP keeping webOS a real possibility – what could that mean?"
Answer: death.

HP+Rubenstein = deadly poison for webOS

"HP keeping webOS a real possibility – what could that mean?"

means they didnt get anywhere near the extortionate $$ tags they were hoping for and refuse to sell for less even tho they have obliterated the remainder of webOS and palm.


I agree on the keyboard aspect of a phone, and the Pre 3 is a realization of this idea. I meant two models, a quick slab to get things rolling again to splash some market share. Possibly a Rosetta stone to convert Android apps too..

A company as big as HP needs their own OS! Otherwise hp is good at nothing!
They need to spend lot more money to make webOS successful n they should try to make it as compelling to customer n show public that they r cumited to the OS. They only way to make something out webOS! I kno markets way ahead of Webos but they r not far from success! HP should treat webOS like how apple treats iOS! If they gunna bs with webOS, minds as well sell it or kill it! Honestly, I love webOS, I got a damn iPhone n I really miss webOS though I have my Touchpad but it's not my main device so I use it less. But my 3 yrs old Pre- was a champ. I hate the fact I can't multitask with ios it's frustrating as **** Yea the hardware is nice n the OS is very well optimized but it's no where near as fun, free of clicking, n running multiple apps as webOS! WebOS still remains the superior OS yet no one really cares to invest on it! Miss Plam at the point!

Wow, are you a CEO of a company, too? Are you available to do consultation work?

C'mon, really? Is it really you Meg, and are you hanging out with GlennBeck?

Re-brand back to Palm. release a new tablet, call it the Palm Pilot 2012 or somthing like that. I never understood why they subsumed that brand.

Understanding HP 'speak'....."its complicated" means they are trying to work out a deal or several deals tied together. Another clue on whether they keep Webos... She told the employees to stay put. They were not going to lose their jobs, she wants this to work... Meg is chomping at the bit to undo the Leo mistake and make it right. I think she wants to tie everything together,including the PC's,which would make sense for cloud computing. Clearly, she or the board must be reading/listening to the market and seeing that people are junkies for the Webos technology but it all was not priced right. I do not believe that Best Buy all of a sudden had a boat load of HP Touchpads to sell, this is an smoke test.

use some better hardware and cut down on the time to get devices to market and add lte for verizon and bingo you will get many more customers.

Idiots. The smart phone market is expanding by leaps and bounds but HP is walking away. The Tablet business is eclipsing the laptop/notebook business, and HP will have nothing to offer that the other guys aren't already offering. I'm so glad I have no stock in that loser company....

HP and Palm as a marriage has been such a dissapointment. No committment from HP whatsoever...

Well, HP doesn't know how to make them. Palm does know how to make them but they don't know how to make them well. The carriers, who are the real customers, don't seem to want them. Other than that, the smartphone business should be great for HP.

No phone = no ecosystem. Nobody wants a tablet-only app ecosystem. Clear evidence that Meg is a moron who was just as complicit in HP's implosion as Leo was. Bye bye HP, can't wait to see you crater over the next decade.


Here's simple. No webOS on a NEW phone. NO sale to this potential customer.

I'm not keen on HP making me carry a murse just so that I can whip out my "mobile" device at the store and be able to check the latest beer ratings on beeradvocate to see if me and my buddies have accidentally picked up a case of someone's bad science experiment.

Also I don't want to be putting a big slab of a device upside my face to make a phone call. Bluetooth headset you say? Again refer to the murse.

I feel like this is the Goldilocks story. Look the Veer was too small. The Pre3? How could I freakin' know? I tried to get my hands on it but you up and gave up before I could do my toe-thumbs typing test.

Are you kidding me HP? You're willing to send me away to fulfill my phone needs? I'm even willing to buy into the eco-system.

Just make a phone if you're all in. No worries, you'll grow the user-base I guarantee it. Why? Because it's stopped right now with no devices.

Oh and before you try and pull any shenanigans...if you're all in...obviously I'm saying make a phone with spiffy hardware. Throw some of that ENVY design sense and those magical memristors and flexible displays that literally make images pop!

There...I un-Apofockerized the dilemma.

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Just noticed on my new HP AMD A-8 Desktop that there is an icon shortcut link to "Discover WebOS". I immediately clicked on it, and it took me to an HP WebOS page showing WebOS devices including all the old Palm Treo phones. I started thinking back to my Treo days, and it was almost nostalgic. My Treo was my first bluetooth smartphone. I remember getting one of the first bluetooth headsets, and everyone was like WOW how does that work.

I think HP could easily restart the manufacturing engines on the Pre3, much easier than people think. They have the FCC clearances, which can be a hurdle, and they could make several thousand lots to start the ball rolling as a short term solution to keep WebOS alive in the mobile market while they work on a long term solution. They probably still have lots of core componenets on the shelf, waiting to be assembled. They could then offer them free with 2 year contracts, or for $199 which would include the Pre3 and 32GB Touchpad with a 2 year contract. Heck, I'm fine with a 5MP camera. HP needs to work this bundling strategy as much as possible, because heck, I just bought one of their desktops to get another Touchpad for $149! An HP w/ an i5 processor was $799 and with an i7 it was $899 at Best Buy. I bought the HP w/ AMD A8, Quad Core on sale for $569, then paid $149 for the Touchpad. I also bought an AMD ATI Radeon HD 6570 dedicated video card, 1GB DDR3 on sale for $80 and set this up with CrossFire with the integrated card. So, all this for the same price as the HP i5!! The i5 didn't even have USB 3.0 ports, but the HP AMD A8 did! If anyone is in the market for a new Desktop, this is a GREAT deal at Best Buy. It comes with Windows 7, 64-bit Home Premium too, plus the .... "Discover WebOS" icon link! :-)

well, amazon is willing to pay 50 million usd.

hp now has the option to loose its face wasting so much time and money - or to continue with webos and a long term roadmap.

I wouldn't be so sure about the "No Phones" or at least for the reason you stated. If tablets really are going to be the future, i see carriers making deals and having internet build into the tablets. With that happening, they would have to work with carriers again. If WebOS were to start over again, they actually could make a comeback! But, it would be tough. Huge marketing and branding themselves again. Not just as the "Businessman Phone" but something everyone can use. Next, only release a few phones like the Pre3 & Veer to reach specific markets, but not like Android with a million different phones... Hp needs to do something different, be unique!

Is a comeback likely, probably not... But is it possible? It is very possible!!!

The cynical view is that Whitman is simply trying to keep the webOS team together until a sale can be executed. An intact team is key to maintaining the webOS sale price.

Oh my GOD I’m so tired of this.........

I just booted in to webOS (from CM7) and regretted doing it when I read this...
This is getting to be ridicules guys and girls seriously.


Are some of you really hanging on to this entire thing? REALLY? What will it take?

I don’t think I will ever boot into webOS again. MOVE ON!! For the love of god!

I feel sorry for those that are hanging on to....well...NOTHING!

Jesus H


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And what do you do if you want stay with Sprint for the unlimited data? I was one of the first to get the original pre and they just leave us out to dry? WTF! Where is my Pre3??? My original pre is starting to show its age a bit. Even if HP makes another phone and it somehow ends up on sprint, they are so far behind now due to there own poor management that it will take at least  6 to 12 months for them to come up with something polished.  I love the user experience of the pre. I just don't like having to use the phrase "some of the time" after every sentence talking about my pre. Like my pre's  YouTube app works (some of the time)! My pre has no lag when I touch to scroll (most of the time)! Etc. I am at my end and am seriously considering a galaxy nexus.....(again should Sprint ever get one).  Someone ANYONE please tell me there is a light at the end of this tunnel and talk me out of it!