Live Blog: HP Earnings Call - Talking End of HP webOS Devices?! | webOS Nation

Live Blog: HP Earnings Call - Talking End of HP webOS Devices?! 43

by Derek Kessler Thu, 18 Aug 2011 4:37 pm EDT


If there was any justice, this would be a conference call with early adopters who believed in the line of bull they were peddling.

I'm sure some aggrieved law student and webosophile is already thumbing to the "class action suits" chapter of his textbook.

Please tell me that this is not surprising to anyone......please!

Hi all,

I cannot figure out after the disaster of the launch of the Pre, Pre Plus & Pixi all problems stemming from poorly made hardware, why did they keep Ruby in charge of webOS.

The TouchPad should have launched late with the update. However once they launched with screwed up software the handwriting was on the wall.

It will be hard to get other firms interested in webOS since so there are so few apps written for it.

Take care,


Now there won't be any apps, developers won't make apps for a dying OS. So if they try to license it no one will buy it :/

The biggest joke is on you. You never did own a webOS device did you? Yet you kept cheering them on while clueless as to why people were getting frustrated.

You went through none of the BS. Yet the clueless mods gave you a special title of newshound while you kept thread crapping all over the place with an ignorant smile on your face.

I remember you posting thinking I was full of **** for even suggesting Ruby should be fired. That was a very long time ago.

And now you're asking why did they keep Ruby so long??

Take care Jay..

Well said, Chekmate. Someone needed to say it, and no one was allowed to in the forums without Jay complaining about it.

"It will be hard to get other firms interested in webOS since so there are so few apps written for it."

Not to mention that there is now such a small customer base after HP pushed their loyal customers away with both hands...

The only remedy for the "too few apps" problem is time.

I'm a dev, and I want to punch non-dev users in the face when they think everything should happen "lickity-split". Yes, it's easy to write CLIENT apps for webOS; but it does take an investment in maintaining them and improving them. And oftentimes a huge investment in building a service that people will want to use.

Also, that post signifies that you don't "get" webOS at all. Look at other platforms. You frequently have 10 or more apps that do the same freaking thing, all priced differently, all competing, a dev on the other side that can't properly monetarize their time without being forced into slashing their prices. With webOS, you have maybe a few apps competing against each other, and it's really a competition of quality rather than cost. Which essentially means that app numbers aren't as big a deal, because if you can find something that does what you want, you're good.

...and I hate to defend HP here, but they get crapped on if they release early, they get crapped on if they release late. But the people doing the crapping always seem to do it as a result of hindsight, and frankly, I don't think any of them have worked a day in a formalized QA environment.

Chuq posted an announcement in the HPalm forums:

"folks, I know it's tough, but try to relax a bit. I'm working to get you as much information as I can as fast as I can. All I can say right now is that is that I don't see this as bad for webOS.

Please just hang tight. I'll be back with more as soon as I can."

I don't know what that means, but I guess we'll find out...

People should be allowed their grief, but anyone who believes a word from HP at this point probably deserves the disappointment that follows.

Yep, HP is one big mixed message.

Yeah, it's great news for those who bought into HP's vision and own a Veer/Pre 2 and TouchPad. The future is BRIGHT! :P

Dude, if it means better hardware, then I'm down. Still want a Pre3, though. Otherwise, what's hot in the dumbphone space these days? Anyone hear about the latest BREW phone lately?

Sorry , but this cannot be shocking to anyone at all!

(HP takes over Palm)
Okay, the Pre was moderately successful, but I think the problem was, it's kind of fluttering out in the middle all by itself. We need a small version and a larger version to round out the luke warm reception! That's the road-map to success people! Now who's with me?

HP Dolts!

Nope. There are bigger flaws inherent in webos than a few new configurations could solve.

Nah, the problem with the Pre launch was that Palm was kept afloat through it on Bono's lunch money. Seriously, I interviewed down there in Sunnyvale about a year before they launched the Pre. I thought they were renovating in order to rent out parts of the headquarters. Talk about lifeless...I was kind of shocked, and saddened to see the company that I'd been such a big fan of up close.

The only thing HP needed to do was to pump some cash into Palm. It could have been profitable again with a reasonable investment and some marketing muscle, but HP decided to talk big, say a lot of shocking stuff, meddle too much with their new property, and ultimately ruin it. They're gambling with lots of parts of something that they don't understand technically how they fit together. That's the problem here. It's the same problem they had under Carly Fiorina. HP seems to be stuck in this cycle of having bigger eyes than stomachs, if you catch my reference.

Layoh, better give out some good news.

Whats shocking is not giving a brand new product more than 7 weeks...nice work apotheker. He should get voted off by the board...hes horrible.

They just said that they booked a $.05/share earnings loss based on poor sales of the Touchpad, and they could not afford the 1-2 years of potential loss while waiting for it to show a profit.

They bought the Bates motel, were SHOCKED that they couldn't rent it out at W rates, and now say they never planned to have to pay to fix it up???
What bozos.

After thinking this over carefully, I will lay the blame of this on Leo Apotheker.

He spent 9 months "evaluating" HP and the various systems. Travelled the world to see their worldwide offices and distribution channels.

All the while, telling everyone how much HP was behind WebOS, and, obviously, not really knowing what that was supposed to mean, because, obviously, they weren't.

They did technically execute an average of 1 device every 2 months in 2010, but, there is no question that this was a half hearted attempt... a corporate mentality governing a highly creative group never works.. I think JR and Palm thought that they would have more autonomy than they were given, and maybe they did until LA came on board.

Either way, what we have now is, in hidnsight, a serious of corporate blunders with the Veer, TouchPad and Pre 3 launches. They said "marathon, not a sprint", but, they seem to expect a decent placing outof the gate, without giving much support internally to make that happen.

IMO, they will try to license out WebOS to Samsung, if they cant sell it, along with the PSG to them.

Honestly, the timing of this couldnt be worse - mide Pre 3 launch - that says that there is something wrong with the whole ecosystem to any potential suitor.

Inasmuch, this *could* theoretically, be the death of WebOS, whether HP intended it, or not - I don't think that they know what they have done, here, and once more, HP's CEO has fulfilled the pattern of being a complete failure to execute.

I personally gave him the benefit of the doubt from day one, but, this is pretty much the smoking gun.

I dont want to be pessimistic, just logical:

Unless they announce a licensing partner soon (like, within the next month or so), the 18 month period to spin off the PSG with WebOS in it spells the death of our beloved mobile OS, at least for the current time.

I'll throw this out there:

RIM has pretty much done everything but copy the source code - they should buy the WebOS OS from HP just for the patents alone, so that their next version of the OS (the QNX based version, which powers the playbook) can be a real WebOS experience.

A very, very sad day for us all.


HP wouldn't sell the patents..

If they don't plan on selling smartphones, they might. That's quick cash right there.

Don't worry. Tomorrow, or maybe by Monday or Tuesday, someone from HP will give out some information (to "clarify" this) and this will all start again. Those looking for something to hang on to will get just that. It will likely involve an unspecified amount of waiting, but the "fans" will be happy about it.

Watch for it.

They will be shutting down the servers within the next four months. There is no spin off of WebOS. There is no ecosystem after December 2011. This is it except for whatever hobbiests can hack together without any central support from HP.

What are your sources?

I believe the employees of SAP would agree with you.

Just because he walks and talks like a CEO doesn't mean he should BE a CEO. Well...walks and talks like a Bond villain. But there's really a very fine line there.

Just think...if RIM bought out webOS away from HP, they'd have an OS that people apparently like to talk about for the first time ever. As long as they're getting a good deal from Qualcomm on those chips.

RIM has its own troubles, i doubt they would tie themselves to a sinking os

I see HP having two options:

1) Announce a premier hardware manufacturer to license to (e.g. Samsung or HTC) immediately (otherwise see developers bail).

2) Sue Apple for an injunction on iPhone sales. Monetize Palm's patents. Apple would not sue back because there is no HP revenue from smartphones.

I don't see any other ways for them to realize any revenue from the Palm acquisition. I think #1 is probably most likely given that they took care to differentiate software from hardware. Otherwise they'd just can the whole thing.

No, lawsuits don't make sense. webOS is still something they can monetize by licensing. any case, if anyone who reads this is an employee of Autonomy, I will burn a candle in memories of your job security. HP is the corporate world's equivalent of the Sargasso Sea...where companies go to die.

Who would license webOS at this point?

Why would they?

Its still a very good OS that, by and large, appears to most to have suffered bad hardware support. Remember, too...Access bought PalmOS and we knew that thing was deader than a football. At least webOS feels modern and embraces open web standards, plus comes along with a very dedicated community. That's a whole lot more inviting than having to create a new platform on your own. And frankly, with Google acquiring Motomobility, the other Android licensees are screwed. Everyone is going vertical...and HP was never a real player in the smartphone market to begin with. It was almost as bad a fit as 3Com owning a PDA company.

"deader than a doornail" This autocorrect on the TouchPad will learn my colloquialisms someday....

As for that poll on which smartphone OS I'd use next if it isn't webOS...I want to say "none of the above" as in, I'll use a dumbphone for the first time in 10 years, and I'll get on the network I want to be on for the first time since then.

Yep, and battery life measured in days rather than hours and no limited/unlimited data plans. I'm with you.

Also, the only thing I was hoping for when HP acquired Palm was that they'd just pump some of that printer cash their way. I have always hated HP computers, even though they look decent when you unbox them, they're always trash a year or so later (at least for me...but I rather buy the cheap boxes rather than the high end ones because the cheap ones don't inspire much confidence in me dropping three times as much). I was really hoping that they'd get some manufacturer like HTC, Lenovo, or Foxconn to make 'em and let HP rebrand them. Because if you leave it up to HP, they'll have their own overseas chopshop slap them together and use value vendor components.

oh, well I purchased a touchpad 10 days ago from staples to use for online medical software. Staples has a 14 day return policy on this, so back it goes.. sigh
still have a verizon pre+
what's next?

I don't know for certain, but I suspect that HP won't remote detonate it within the next few days. I figure, if you like it, keep it...the community will still provide support even if HP doesn't (and I have a tough time believing they won't want to keep the servers running and making money off app sales). Plus, if it really was dead, I'd have assumed there would have been quite a few more layoff notices.

However, if you bought it to use Epocrates, then you may have missed that news item when you were researching the purchase.

HP has been quiet on virtually every aspect of webOS-related news until now. If they just wanted to stop making phones and find an OEM so they can continue to develop webOS, why not be quiet about that as well. It seems to me that they could have just met with potential suitors and worked out an agreement with throwing the concept of webOOS under the bus, today. The media has reported that "webOS is dead". If that was not HP's intent with the way this debacle was calculated and handled, then everyone at HP related to this nightmare of a day for our beloved OS should be fired.

The road ahead will now be more difficult than they could possibly imagine due to this latest chapter in the webOS comedy of errors.

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