HP's Meg Whitman: "We ultimately have to offer a smartphone" | webOS Nation
 
 

HP's Meg Whitman: "We ultimately have to offer a smartphone" 100

by Derek Kessler Fri, 14 Sep 2012 10:35 am EDT

HP's Meg Whitman:

Yesterday, Fox Business sat down for a very quick chat with HP CEO Meg Whitman. They talked about the cuts that HP's been making to the company, and the new tablets and laptop products that HP's recently announced. And then the interview pivoted into an interesting space: HP smartphones. Asked about if we're ever to see another HP smartphone, Whitman said that, yes, this is something that HP is in fact working on, and that she wants HP to be able to address the full spectrum of computing products, from "workstations to desktops to laptops to our tablets and convertibles all the way to smartphones."

After the awkward posing of the question (saying that Palm "had just been not a supportive company when it comes to smartphones" - huh?), Whitman graciously described HP's experience with webOS smartphones as a "detour". At $3.3 billion, that's one hell of a detour. Of course, there are myriad reasons why it didn't have to be a detour, though we're going to continue to lay the blame for that at the feet of Whitman's predecessor as HP CEO, Leo Apotheker.

Asked for further confirmation - "So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?" - Whitman stated that HP, in her view, will "have to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We're a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."

So that poses the question, what operating system will this new HP smartphone run? While Open webOS is charging forward with its open source plan, the currently-available beta versions only run at a big tablet-size on Ubuntu Linux or as an embeddable version without a user interface. The only webOS offering currently suitable for a smartphone would be webOS 2.x, which at well over a year old is seriously showing its age. While Open webOS could in theory be developed to run on a smartphone, that's a good chunk of work. Whitman already said back in December that HP might do a webOS tablet again someday, but that smartphones were unlikely. HP burned a lot of bridges with webOS, so honestly we'd wager our money on a new HP smartphone running Windows Phone 8 from long-time big money partner Microsoft, or maybe (less likely) Android.

That sound you hear? That's Derek pulling his hair out. Video after the break.

Source: Fox Business; Thanks for all the tips!

100 Comments

I'm thinking that HP will release a high end Windows 8 phone and a low end WebOS phone.

Windsornot looked like a form factor for a high end phone?

We love you Meg.We will be waiting here at webosnation. Please don't make windows phone. We want webos phone.

You really want a plastick-y, low end piece of garbage made for low margins and high volume sales in developing nations? Because that is the only webOS phone they would ever make or be able to sell.

Nope, I want them to copy the hell out of Apple like they do with their Envy line of PCs and build a quality webOS phone. I will dump my HTC EVO 4G LTE POS in a heartbeat. For what its worth i love the feel of the this phone, i just can't get used to Android/ICS yet.

Meh, I smell IPAQ 2. Most likely a Windows phone, from a chinese third party maker. HP is a commodity distrubtor, not an innovator. They'll take the cheapest contract they can find, offer of a midlevel phone with no frills, and stick their label on in like they used to do for phones, mp3 players, cameras, etc.

Meg must have found some KoolAid in Leo's old desk. Hope she made enough to share in here.

If they made a Windows Phone, most likely it'll be crap. Same goes for Android. Or anything for that matter. No one is clamoring for HP to enter the smartphone market. Especially US carriers after the last fiasco (s).

If HP made a WP8 device it would probably kick LG and HTC to the curb. Please remember that HP only made 2 phones, Pre3 and Veer. Only the Veer was sold by a carrier (AT&T) in the US, the Pre3 was never officially released. Prior to that, only the H6315 (T-Mobile), the HW6525/6925 series on then-Cingular and the Glisten on AT&T were distributed by carriers. I don't know what carrier fiasco you're referring to because each of those WM phones were spectacular devices. Yes, the H6315 had battery issues but HP did own up to it. HP has always made top-flight enterprise-centric devices with a full feature set, I don't see any reason to believe they won't make a kick-ass WP8 phone.

Well - there is one reason why a WP8 phone won't be kick-ass - it'll have WP8 on it.
;-)

Of course you know this because you found a WP8 device at a bar. You will become rich beyond your wildest dreams by selling that phone right now. Oh that's right, you were just talking out y'er ass.

My hopes went way up when I saw the article title and came down some after I read it. I really hope its WebOS or at least a phone that is open WebOS capable.

If they do go for windows 8 or android i dont think it will look good on webOS. If you're not willing to make phones using your own operating system then why would anyone else. If they go with MS or android they should at the very least make a low end webOS phone.

After what's gone down since killing both Palm and webOS, I wouldn't buy an HP phone (let alone product) if you gave it to me for 99% off. This company deserves a long, slow painful death by fire. You reap what you sow...

Never another penny from my wallet. Returned my Envy laptop, destroyed two HP inkjets, never another penny.,

i guarantee no future HP phones will run Android!!! that would be a complete stab in the back for any past or present Palm/webOS employees... maybe use android apps, but will never use the OS!!! i'd be willing to bet on both webOS and Win 8 options... and i was actually going to upgrade my Pre2 to a Note 2... may have to wait now....

My advice, don't wait. She said they will "eventually" have to offer one. My guess is that they will wait like they have been and let the opportunity pass them by.

In a weird way this is kind of funny. Blackberry is the king in developing markets already. So what is HP trying to be - number one in crappy phones? May the best loser win.

HP needs a smartphone if it is remain viable
WebOS was designed for smartphones & remains the best OS yet available for handheld devices
HP needs to wake up
selling Beats enabled laptops isn't a winning strategy

HP isn't interested in viability and not interested in a long term winning strategies.

HP is the plaything of the Board of Director Gods sitting upon high in Mount Palo Alto hurling thunderbolts upon the mere mortals who scamper from one Business Unit to Business Unit or to be ferried by Charon into the Hades of laid off employees, they woo beautiful virgin mortals (secretaries), direct their Titans in epic clashes in the effort to win the right to bring forth the next choose demiurge (now Wittman and prior Leo) for they are locked, eternal Directer against eternal Director, in a vain romantic struggle in to wrest victory for their fleeting passions.

One big problem. To sell a phone to the public you have to first sell the phone to the carriers. Today, in the current mobile environment, NO US carriers and maybe no Euro carrier will touch a WebOS phone!

HP, just offer a $50 smartphone. I would buy it even if it runs webOS 1.x, or it is made of plastic mixed with hair that Derek just pulled out. :)

The iPhone 4 is available for free on contract and the 4s is $99. What kind of webOS smartphone can compete with that?

"What kind of webOS smartphone can compete with that?"
A $50 smartphone. :)

They could rebate people $100, paying them to take a WebOS phone, but that wont create an app catalog, or shake the stigma of anticustomer history that HP so carefully crafted. It's not the device that will challenge HP to sell a phone, it''s committing $3000 over two years to a platform with no apps and a history of total abandonment.

No Meg, we will not forget, if you think running up against the Iphone is hard, try going up against your abandoned customers. We will not forget, we WILL make things right, IN THE COMING DECADES.

$10 monthly subscription kind of contract or much more expensive one?

I'm sure the carriers are going to be jumping at the opportunity to discount their subscription prices in order to promote this unknown smartphone platform.

Those are two-year contract prices. IPhone 4 and 4S is 550 and 650 on Virgin Mobile's plans and they are a significant cost savings.

They could easily sell a ton of $150 webOS phones with the OpenMobile on Virgin, Cricket, Boost, Republic Wireless, etc.

Seed the market and go from there.

Well I think this is great news. Whether it will be a webOS updated version that includes LTE or an open webOS version with LTE too and with Todd Bradley still around with some influence I bet it will be webOS of some form. Bradley is pro webOS so he can make it happen.

No a chance that this will be a WebOS phone...

They are already working on this, she said, after already doubling down on the fact that WebOS smartphones was a "detour".

If I had to guess, it will be a Windows 8 smartphone.

The question is, of course, just how good can HP design a smartphone without the Palm designers, now long gone?

+ 1 No a chance that this will be a WebOS phone.

Sadly the fat lady has already stopped singing about WebOS. At this point it's about as likely that someone makes a phone running Palm's other divorced Access Linux Platform O/S (PalmOS ~7) than a future HP WebOS phone or a stealth "Gr.am oPhone".

As good as they did before they bought Palm. You do know HP made smartphones long before webOS was a twinkle in Matias Duarte's nutsack.

They didn't "make" doody. They badged a phone called Ipaq. An otherwise generic GSM from china, that ran windows and looked just like a blackberry. Wonder Bread could have just as easily had their sticker on those units. Might have actually sold better.

For years I have been reading these articles and believing HP was responsible for web os being pulled. That's until I actually got my hands on a pre3, as much as I love web OS as a platform and see its potential, you tell me that 3.3billion dollars isn't enough to give a phone something more than speed. Issues that existed with my original pre are still there after the fourth attempt and one hell of a payoff. It's time to quit pointing fingers and get to work. Samsung just took a huge blow, apple keep re releasing the exact same phone people are ready for something different. Palm and HP time to go hard or hang it up. There is too much that can be done that hasn't been yet.

Is that why the iPhone 5 is the fastest preorder sellout Apple's ever had and Samsung is selling more Galaxy S 3 and Galaxy note devices than ever? That's the opening you think they should shoot for?

I think it's the same one Nokia's Lumia 920 and the Blackberry 10 phone are shooting for too.

You should watch the Jimmy Kimmel skit where they asked current iPhone 4 owners to critique the iPhone 5 and handed them an iPhone 4. People invented differences that weren't there.

That is why the iPhone 5 is selling out fast. People don't care, just want something that can call an iPhone 5.

You are right about the environment, but it doesn't change the fact that HP needs to be a player. Have to start somewhere, and better to start with a differentiated product because they've lost the Android and Microsoft phone OSes to Samsung and Nokia.

If you have a better plan, let's hear it.

"HP needs to be a player. Have to start somewhere, and better to start with a differentiated product because they've lost the Android and Microsoft phone OSes to Samsung and Nokia."

I don't know if you are right here, I mean it might be much better to be a number #n in a vibrant (Android) or at least long-term viable market (WinMo), than being #1 Plus in a fantasy market (that webOS became, sadly).

This is what I don't understand. It's so obvious to so many of us what needs to be done, but the people that matter never seem to see it.

webOS was NEVER EVER the best mobile OS out there. webOS always had the most POTENTIAL to be it though. But as a phone at 50% of it's potential, it was probably one of the worst mobile OSes out there overall though it was really easy to see the potential though. I loved the OS purely off of the potential but in reality, it was buggy, slow, unresponsive, and inconsistent.

If Palm/HP ignored adding extra features and instead worked on fixing the bug, speed, and responsiveness, it would've suited them far better. WebOS 1.x with iOS level polish in terms of speed and responsiveness would sell far better than webOS 2.x.

The problem is HP had a window of opportunity to possibly make webOS work. That window is pretty much shut now. But when they had it, they could've and should've done the smart thing and taken a huge loss on the hardware in order to build up the user base. Back then no one was selling higher quality tablets for $199. They could've made a "killing" (in terms of sales, they'd lose money though). Now? Tablets are expected to be around that price.

@spacemanspork

If you had ever used a Pre3, you would know that Palm/HP had addressed that vast majority of the bugs and certainly the speed and responsiveness was on-par or better than most (competing phones) at the time.

The problem really comes down to HP management expecting that people were going to jump on the webOS bandwagon based upon their marketing/advertising and sub-par or none-wanted products prior to that (Pre2, Veer). Further bungling, mismanagement and executive upheaval only aggravated the situation. Heck, based upon one online article that was previously referenced here on Webosnation, even the Touchpad was not nearly the product that HP had intitially wanted to release.

There certainly was an opportunity for webOS to thrive in the mobile space, but as has been discussed on these boards many times before, that opportunity is about nil now. No hardware means no sales. No sales means no profit. No profit means no webOS. Regardless of how much Meg says that HP is committed to webOS, its really just a matter of time before it is one more non-profit-producing division that will be terminated.

Sad, but unfortunately true.

Regrettably I never used a Pre3. I have to go off of the Pre- and the Touchpad. I went from a Pre- to a SGS2 and the difference between them was night and day in terms of responsiveness and speed. And here's the thing: the SGS2 isn't the most responsive phone out there. iOS and WP7 out class Android in terms of responsiveness.

The Touchpad with it's dual core processor and 1GB of RAM still had major responsiveness and speed problems. My SGS2 takes about 45 seconds to boot. My Pre- took about 4 minutes to boot (ok, I do have some patches on it). My Touchpad takes about 1-2 minutes to boot.

I can't say I tried to Pre3 though, I wish I could've. I might've still gotten that if they didn't scrap it, even with the lousy 3rd party market and underwhelming specifications.

But I agree, the window of opportunity has pretty much closed all the way. There's only a tiny crack open and that crack will require HP to go all or nothing and HP doesn't have the guts for that. And honestly that's a good thing because going all or nothing is a folly. There's like a huge chance of bankruptcy and only a one in a million chance of success from attempting that unless for some bizarre reason they can get other large companies to split the risk (highly unlikely too).

The return of the iPaq.......

Way to twist the knife, Meg. :(

No doubt. I just cried a little.

That title is one hell of a way to get me to log back into here!!! I chose to switch to an iPhone this past March when my Sprint contract was up and my Pre was finally getting too buggy for me to deal with. Six months later, I still miss webOS.

After reading the article, I think Meg and HP would be coming back to the smartphone market way too late. And what device would they come up with that consumers would even take a look at that would be HP's investment worthwhile? There's such market penetration with current phones and HP has no good history to market.

I would love to buy a new, upgrade webOS phone two years from now. But HP didn't really create any, they piggy-backed on the work of Palm. And now they're all gone. In my dream of dreams tho', if they introduced a really high quality webOS phone, they should call it Phoenix. :)

+1

HP Phoenix - I like that. Palm Phoenix would be better - much better

id like to be wrong but HP are sheep, not sheepdogs, they dont innovate/take risks they ride the comfy zone, i cant see that changing here, tho as mentioned elsewhere i hope at least they make something similar to a pimped pre3 and it has the ability/hardware/etc to wipe off winblows and add in open webOS.

+1

For sure. Printers are the only place they ever led. And who needs printers when you have tablets, smartphones and clouds and wireless?

Dearest Meg, you had one - you blinked - you lost.

HP is now the veritable old tanker of the business world.

BAHHHHHHHHH this is so insane.... "must build a smartphone" you have nobody to design a smartphone... and all the viable talent is already employed by other companies.

My head just exploded. I WANT a webOS phone that is on quality hardware. I have the EVO 3D now. I love the hardware but I miss webOS greatly.

With Palm and webOS considered a "detour" by Whitman, I don't see HP ever producing a smartphone with any flavor of webOS. I see the Open webOS spun off on it's own (Gram) and eventually cut loose from HP to live on it's own with no hardware vendor support.

It's likely with HP's relationship with Microsoft to produce a Windows 8 phone and stick to be a Microsoft shop.

I just can't see any real future for webOS in the next year or two... at least not in the smartphone realm.

Well, on the one hand it's good to see that Meg agrees with what so many of us have been saying on the forums here for months and months - if you want to stay relevant as a computer hardware maker going forward into the future, you have to have tablets and smartphones in your product lineup - that is where the future is, and there is simply no way around that fact.

On the other hand, she didn't say what OS they would be putting on those phones, so we in webOS land are still left with uncertainty regarding HP's commitment to our favored platform. But then, that's nothing new...

Who's uncertain? They spun it off into open source, fired the hardware engineers, and are in a period where they need to be really smart with what cash they have on hand. That ("We took a detour with webOS...this time we have to get it right") pretty certainly indicates they're not committed to webOS as a consumer-facing platform.

Remember, that they're supposedly working on this smartphone now, yet have no webOS hardware engineers nor is open webOS even finished. Meanwhile, they're publicly committed to Windows 8 on PCs and tablets. You really think it's "ambiguous" as to where they are leaning for smartphones?

They don't need webOS hardware engineers anymore. The Touchpad, the Pres, the Veer, are dead as far as HP is concerned. That hardware, and the need to have experts familiar with that hardware, is over with, Open webOS doesn't even support them, and so there is no reason to expect that a new webOS smartphone would share much in common internally with the ones that preceded it. It's not as clear cut as you make it sound.

I don't believe they had many phone engineers aside from the webOS ones, but you don't think having some knowledge of prior ARM SoC driver/performance issues and hardware tests would be helpful?

But yeah...let's assume that they fired all of those people, spun off the company and changed the brand name because they wanted to get another webOS smartphone out there. Toooootally natural assumption.

lol - you mean it's not some elaborate master plan so they can launch their breakthrough smartphone out of nowhere at a time when Apple gets too comfortable and takes their dominance for granted? ;)

Joking aside though, I do see where you're coming from, and I agree - they definitely did not plan this thing out, and what they are doing is reactive rather than proactive. But now that their hand is being forced, they have to be looking for the best options moving forward, and there are some pros for moving forward with webOS as opposed to WP8, so hopefully they will consider it seriously.

What pros are there from a business perspective? Take your opinion of webOS out of it and look at the numbers.

Windows Phone already has several times the total number of webOS devices out there sold, has an ecosystem, and has well over 100,000 apps. It's also already aligned with the Windows 8 core business of HP. Microsoft does almost all R&D costs (except for whatever tiny customizations each manufacturer wants to add on) and will also pay a lot of the advertising costs.

open webOS isn't finished, isn't in demand, and is a derivative of a product that's already failed twice commercially. No one will pay for advertising and R&D except for HP, and there is no ecosystem or modern apps to speak of.

Can you seriously argue that - strictly from a business perspective - that there is any reason to make a webOS device?

Yes, as a matter of fact I can:

No Microsoft licensing fees (something like $20 to $30 per phone)

HP owned ecosystem (it's not much right now I agree, but it is there, and it is theirs, and can be a good revenue stream if they can manage to develop it)

Ability to piggyback on the Android ecosystem with ACL until they can get their own ecosystem up to scratch

Control of OS development and addition of features

Ability to directly integrate OS with their cloud services

Real product differentiation for HP's mobile products that they would not have if they go the WP8 or Android route

fantasy and/or irrelevant, all your points - sorry..

Are there really that many Windows Phone's out there? I haven't seen any big numbers. There were a lot of TouchPads out there.

I'm not buying into the Windows Phone ecosystem. There's little media of Windows Phone so maybe I missed it, but I don't think they have the agreements in place with all the music studios like Google, Amazon, and Apple do. In any case, a partnership with Spotify for example would give webOS that ecosystem. Better yet, they could work on a deal to be "Powered by Amazon" and use that ecosystem. Amazon has mentioned already that they don't about making money on devices themselves, they just want to sell the media. This would give Amazon greater distribution and give webOS a media ecosystem.

Open Mobile (http://openmobile.co/) has said that they expect to have 100% of the Android apps working in webOS this fall. I don't believe it will be that good, but that's all the apps that webOS would ever need.

From a business perspective, there's really no other good option for HP. There is Android and Windows. Android already has a ton of handset makers who have much more experience than HP. There's nothing that HP can do to differentiate themselves. Windows Phone has Nokia and they've got a long head start on those. HP can try to compete there, but they'll have to pay licensing feels and they'll be another "me too" phone without a differentiator. That's a bad position to be in from a business perspective.

webOS has not failed twice commercially. It was never given a chance either time.

Here's another thought. There's the Firefox OS also being developed. However, that's like webOS without an ecosystem and who knows how many apps either. It's not stopping Mozilla.

Let's assume that they put all the months and months of hard work to open source webOS and spin off the company just because they love throwing away money on stuff that they'll never use. Tooooootally natural assumption.

It's a way to shut up existing users while winding down the brand from public consciousness. It's been done in various ways many dozens of times before in business, and in many different industries.

of course they do not plan to ever use webOS (open or closed) again, and whose "hard work" it was, to open-source it - the very same division, that is being spun off, to dwindle into nothing. They have to be paid anyway, so they can open-source that dead body in the mean time, if that makes few publicity points for HP over shutting them down immediately (and probably, they'd have to keep X% of former Palm people for Y period of time after the takeover)

I honestly can't believe how blind people are, to STILL keep fooling themselves, how awesome it would be for HP to come back on the webOS "detour" track. You cannot get more clear statement from a CEO, than this. They do not use phrases like " a total fiasco", you know.

A year and a half ago, it would be uphill and very tough battle for HP (though not impossible), to follow through on webOS, and make it a long-lasting enterprise. They didn't, back then. Today, it is absolutely, utterly, completely out of the question, and you must be living in a complete lalaland, to think otherwise. Sorry!

Detour? Detour? Sounds like management needs to invest in a GPS company before they get back into smartphones.

How can she even say that with a straight face?

The more I read the statement, the more I am befuddled by the reasoning.

"We ultimately have to offer a smartphone?"

Why? At least they have margins, however small they are, in PCs, printers, and workstations.

The smartphone business right now has almost all of the profit go to Apple and Samsung. I think HTC may have been the only other phone maker to finish in the black last quarter. Maybe Lenovo, too.

Everyone else is losing money, whatever their revenues are. I can't imagine significant R&D being spent at HP for this effort.

Because PC's, printers and workstations are not the future anymore - over the coming decades they are going to become just as optional in many people's lives as a landline phone is becoming for many of us now. A company like HP has to look a couple decades ahead, or it ends up like Kodak.

Looking ahead is great. That''s how Apple got to where they are now. They put in the work to develop a robust ecosystem before people even knew an ecosystem was a requirement for smartphone success.

Saying, ultimately we have to offer a smartphone shows there is very little long range thinking going on here. That's like Domino's saying "Yeah, at some point, we should make sandwiches too."

They do. But they suck. It's just a side hustle to fill out their menu.

+1 That's like Domino's saying "Yeah, at some point, we should make sandwiches too."

The pizza business isn't going anywhere like HP's printer business. A pizza place can exist indefinitely.

It isn't necessary to sell sandwiches to sell pizza, but it might be necessary to sell phones to sell computers.

Yeah, I'd argue the printer business idea:
I started my own architecture business 3 years ago, and one thing we DON'T have is a printer. Yes, we do printing, but we have reduced it to a level where we don't need to have our own printer.
We actually had an older HP 11x17 color printer, but used it so little it was costing so much in ink just to keep the printheads flowing. So we retired it.

Just got out of a client presentation meeting that we presented entirely digitally. Meeting materials are distributed electronically. I know we're not the norm, but I think we are the trend.

We still order pizza though.

If there's one common theme between the successful smartphone makers of today (Apple, Samsung, HTC), it's that none of them got to the where they are by saying "You know, at some point, we should offer a smartphone".

They put in years of work, set out to best each other and every rival, and generally aimed sky high with every generation of products. HP has no such aspirations, no such innovation in their culture, and has none of the engineering and supply chain advantages that Samsung and Apple do.

They'll slap in an average Snapdragon. Slap on an average display. Encase it in an average slab. Sell it for an average price. Probably make some average commercials.

They did it for years with the iPac. They'll do it again with their Windows Phone handset that they'll likely make.

I've said this before, but it bears saying again. Back when WebOS was shut down, HP Chairman of the Board Ray Lane (who was/is as culpable as Leo for the WebOS shutdown, said he backed the shutdown and led the push to hire Leo), said that HP had its arms tied behind its back because it couldn't use Android. He made these comments to the Financial Times of London I believe, but they were not widely reported here in the United States. So, you have the HP Chair of the Board wanting HP to use Android, so I think that they are in the running, although I agree that HP would consider this.

Also, Derek, as to Open WebOS, I guess I"m totally confused - is HP not releasing a phone dialer with Open WebOS (haven't compiled it). I mean, it is on the Touchpad via bluetooth - is there really much more work to do to add a dialer? I can't imagine it would be that hard.

Windows Mobile Pre 4, anyone? ;)

FrankenWinPho - the future of webOS smartpones.

That's it. I'm going home to play my Dreamcast.

+1 ^^

As much as I really like WebOS (still running with a Sprint FrankenPre2), and as much as I would love to see the OS continue and develop, I don't think the market is going to be receptive to it.

Palm had the window of opportunity when WebOS first came out. I think its closed now. The consolidation is well underway. WebOS is out, Blackberry is in decline, Windows is clawing to hang on. Its currently a battle between Android and iOS, and will remain so until one of them screws up enough to let a competitor come in.

If any competitor wants to have a chance, its got to be a paradigm shift. WebOS could have done that, but the experience didn't support it (hardware too slow, build quality too poor, low roll-out, etc, etc.)

I have no confidence that HP as a corporate entity has the creativity, determination or raw gumption to pull off something like this. They're being derivative of everything that's already on the market. For that model to work, they need to pick an established OS and make it the best hardware/software solution they can, and they have a lot of competition in that field. I just don't see HP as a company having the creative stones to build up an OS (even if they resurrected WebOS) into something truly great.

Sigh. I'm going to enjoy the remaining days in WebOS world. My Touchpad recently died, and I'm going to run my FrankenPre2 until it dies too.

I don't see HP making it with an established OS either. They are going to catch up to Samsung and HTC in making Android handsets? By that time Amazon might be in there along with all the others (LG for example).

You mentioned how Windows is clawing to hanging, so that isn't that much better than webOS (and they have control over webOS and no licensing fees).

I don't particular like any of the options they have available. I'd say the best is to continue with webOS, but get the Open Mobile layer to emulate all the Android apps.

She makes it sound like they haven't decided. Since smartphones (or whatever they'll be called in 5-10 yrs) continue to cannibalize nearly all other computing segments, the market might multiply and diverge as it progresses. I'm guessing they might work on Windows-8 and/or Android and/or WebOS within "GRAM" at the same time. They're taking their time. Who knows which one might be most "ready" when they finally do it. They might put their name on something made by someone else - maybe RIM-10. Ultimately, way down the road, they could have more than one OS. Their intent is long-term success regardless of how they get there. I would LOVE WebOS to come back to life in a new phone to replace my Pre-2 though it's not exactly likely very soon.

Sorry Meg. I loved webos when it came out. I stayed through all the tough times. I even tried to sell your product, despite the rash of comments each time. But alas, I cannot do this anymore. There really is nothing left. You've allowed every company to take every component of webos (sans the wave bar) and incorporate it in their devices. webos really doesn't have any advantages anymore.

Today, I just purchased an iphone 5. I never thought I'd see the day, but unfortunately that phone exists, it works very well, and has a ton of apps.

I still love webos and will miss the charging dock, the intuitive UI and those here at webosnation who spend countless hours developing software and blog entries, to help keep the product alive.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to wait around any longer for HP to "possibly" make a phone and "possibly" have webos. If it one day comes out, and it's really good, and can compete with iphone/android/wp8, I may revisit it.

I'll come back from time to time and check in on the good folks here at webosnation. After all, it was all of you here that kept this product alive as long as it has been.

Derek - good luck to you and thanks for all your articles!

I wouldn't trust HP to bag my groceries and I trust Nut Meg even less! Too late HP you blew it so now you gotta chew it!

Dang! I thought the video was going to be of Derek! :D

I dont't know if I should laugh or cry....

HP make a smartphone? Wow, what a great idea! Or wait, isn't that what Palm was for? The purchase HP made, then killed it, just to give it away? Geez!

Let's not get our hopes up, enough of the disappointments. This is all about new Windows 8 phone, simple as that.

We can hope that webOS can be flashed onto it, but that's about all I'm hoping for now.

If HP wants to enter the mobile business, they need a device the works well, not just gee look, it swipes or look how many cards I can have open.

Everyday stable and do what smart phones do.

2013 is around the corner and the competition is the phones out now, not 2007 or 2009.

They should make a top of the line android phone with dual boot webos... Or Atleast make the phone completely open so we can put open webos on it...

HP can be stylish an innovative... Envy 14 Spectre, Envy Printer, Officejet Mobile 150. They can create great devices. It's absolutey childish to call the biggest computer and printer manufacturer of the world incompetent, just because it's not producing your favorite device anymore.
HP has just problems with optimism, especially in pricing. They didn't (an still don't) unterstand that if you want to establish a new platform with an own infrastructure, that you have to BUY market share with low prices. They thought "We have a way better OS. Why should we be cheaper than Apple?" WRONG WAY!

The Touchpad was priced the same or lower than the other tablets on the market. Even after they dropped the price and offered $50 coupons, it didn't sell.

If price was the driver, all the cheap Chinese tablets would be selling like crazy.

No you are wrong. What about the 99$ Touchpad? what about the kindle fire? I meant good hardware with a good price. I haven't seen a low priced chinese tablet with high power and quality yet.

And at the start, the touchpad had exactly the same price like the ipad. After nobody bought it, they began dropping the price until the firesale.

They didn't build the Touchpad to be a $99 tablet. That was a giveaway.

Meg Whitman is doing the practical thing- they'll do a windows or android phone which is low cost and low cost to design/produce. Hp wants to have something to offer if only as a placekeeper since it expected to have a smartphone. IF they have any success then they'll put time and money into design. Meg basicly said there won't be a webOS phone from HP. So she's consistent. There's a reason they spun off gram so webOS has a (slim) chance to succeed possibly in other foreign markets.

What a kerfuffle!

Just ran across this!....http://www.slashgear.com/hp-bender-android-smartphone-appears-in-benchmark-details-14247675/

Meg, I too took a detour 3 years ago. I patched and tweaked and frankened along the way. I even replaced or repaired my broken hardware along the way to stay on the path. The scenery was beautiful, the people great. Others in my family took different paths. Sadly it's time to join them. My loyalty only can go so far. It's time to get on the highway. Your path has many twists and turns but it leads no where.

It will take another label on an OpenWebOS phone for me to come back. Hp will never see another dime of mine. Actually I don't think I've ever owned anything HP. Guess they missed that window too.

Why can't some people ponder that maybe WebOS didn't catch on because it didn't offer anything important to existing palm users?

I had a Treo 600 and a 755P and my wife goes back to the Palm Vx.

The Treos were a bit clunky BUT the one handed ease of use and the functions were great for everyone including Real Estate pros and doctors.

The Pre came out and had zero relationship to that usefulness. Buggy, slow - yes good graphics and swipe but so what? People who had relied on Palm Desktop for contacts, calendars and notes were stuck with Google or Yahoo? It was 1/10th as useful.

New buyers were slim and Treo uses had nothing to keep them in the Palm family with WebOS. The Pre was so different in it's approach, they could switch to any phone and have the same learning curve.

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Meg's Main Mission (m3) - is to first stabilize HP.

Entering the phone (and tablet) market requires a stable "entry". Whether that's a WP8 or Android phone may seem like a big let-down to Palm fans, but it's imperative that this device not be too risky - which webOS is at this time. In some respects, webOS's future may hinge on a successful Android or WP8 phone by HP.

Once webOS has been tested and stable itself, and can be adapted to hardware that incorporates the new Kernel specs, then HP can venture into the world again of webOS. From a logical perspective - not what we've seen previously - HP has its' very own OS in the "palm of their hands" lol. And they have the cash to carry it through to fruition. The question is ... will HP see the light? Or is it a matter of being too afraid. Personally, I think they just need to grow a set of ba!!s.

As for pushing a webOS phone out into the market, HP has the perfect resource - their status in the computer business. Bundle a webOS phone with the Envy laptop series (for an extra $50 - $100), as well as work some deal with a Carrier to take it on - locked or unlocked. For the Mobile Carrier, the benefit is a unsubsidized phone (while maintaining a "subsidized" price point in their mobile plan). In other words, a no-contract phone with a contract price plan - extra dollars for the Carrier.

As we've learned from the Touchpad, if HP pushes a webOS phone as a "time-limited" loss leader, the opportunity to gain traction becomes more plausible. The smartphone market is continuing to grow, and despite how some say it's too late to "enter" this competitive market, IMO - the technology field is about the future, not what you did yesterday. Yes - HP f*@ked up, and left a bad taste in some circles. But give the consumer a dynamic product, and memories will become just memories.

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Not to mention that people have really short memories, and that bad taste that the Touchpad left in people mouth will quickly disappear once HP releases other mobile devices which act like a like a good swig of Listerine to consumer's mouths. If it's enough to convince *ENOUGH* consumers that HP got their act together, then they'll be far more receptive to buying other HP products, such as one that runs webOS.

And that's the thing: people who complain that "HP not releasing a webOS device NOW will look poorly on them" seem to only be thinking about their needs. Yes, it'll look poorly.... but only to the webOS faithful. If HP DID release a webOS device, it'll actually look poorly on HP in the eyes of EVERYONE ELSE for having released a device running a "failed OS", especially with the memory of the Touchpad still in people's memories.

It's never "too late" to do anything, as long as you have the honest desire to sell a worthy product AND while people have short memories. Just look at Apple's success; they wanted to sell a worthy product AND people basically forgot that they had "died" back in 1997... especially considering that Apple's more quality products were clearer in people's memories than their more fail, pre-iMac products. ... As long as HP releases new quality products, it'll be enough to push the memories of poorly made products out of the minds of consumers, which will give HP all the trust it needs to give webOS another go. Especially if they--as you suggested-- bundle webOS phones with a purchase of an HP computer, or provide businesses with "package deals" where they get free business phones with their lot purchase of 50 work computers. But this will only work once consumer trust in HP's quality mobile devices replaces their old memories of HP's crappier devices... and that won't take long!

I have a pre 3 and I love it, far better than my Blackberry ever was and always has good reception, even when my Apple chums have no signal....

I don't understand why people can't understand this:

Consumers have short memories. VERY VERY short memories. And HP is banking on this.

So what HP is doing NOW is releasing some cheap-to-produce, easy-to-sell smart phones and tablets running either Android or Windows. Partially to build some capital, partially to gain experience, partially to gain consumer respect, and--most of all--partially to let time pass so that people eventually forget webOS (that it existed, let alone ever "failed").

Because webOS is NOT going anywhere, and now that it's open-sourced, it gives HP the time and position it needs to give webOS the life it deserves. With it being open-sourced, HP can see what webOS products do better or not, all because other manufacturers will be spending the time, money and energy sorting that out so that HP DOESN'T. And given enough time, it'll allow HP to know for sure what form of webOS will succeed, partially because those other manufacturers did all the work for HP.

But most of all, HP's non-release of a webOS mobile also means that, if their efforts fail, it won't reflect poorly on webOS. IT WON'T MAKE PEOPLE THINK "See? WebOS failed a THIRD time; this PROVES that it's a lame OS". ... Doc Brown put it best: "you're not thinking Fourth Dimensionally!" At least with HP releasing an Android or Windows mobile device, it's failure won't make webOS look bad, and it's success would only make people think "wow, imagine if that thing ran webOS!" Plans take MANY YEARS to completely implement; just because it's not released now, it doesn't mean it won't EVER be released.

Again, I cannot understand why people don't seem to understand this. I'm not saying you have to AGREE with this, but people could at least keep it in mind before complaining that "HP isn't releasing a webOS phone NOW, that means they'll NEVER release one! HP sucks!!!"